A Senior’s Guide to Online Safety: 7 Simple Steps to Follow


Scammers love to target seniors not because they think they are gullible. They do it because seniors don’t always know what the classic online scams happen to be.

If you’re just getting to know modern technology and are starting to cruise the internet, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind.

#1. Never give out your personal information unless it is warranted.

You need to give out some personal information if you order something. You don’t need to give out personal information through an email. Companies do not ask for your mother’s maiden name, your Social Security number, or passwords through your email. Scammers do.

#2. Always keep your privacy settings active.

There is a lot of data a web browser can learn about you. Many websites store information, called cookies, onto your computer to improve loading speeds. Whenever there is a privacy setting available to you, then use it. This will make it easier to keep your information private.

#3. Be smart about the content you view.

Scammers love to use lurid content as a way to bait you into making a choice you normally wouldn’t make. If you avoid this type of content, you’ll avoid these scams. If you do view this content, then be careful about where you click to keep yourself safe.

#4. Keep your connections secure.

Try to use your own Wi-Fi network whenever possible. If you are using a public connection, like at your favorite coffee shop, there is no control over the security of that connection. Never share bank account information, or a credit card, over a public network to keep your information safe.

#5. Not every download is a good one.

When you search for something online, look to see what type of link you are clicking. Not every search result takes you to a website. Some have PDF files. Others have you download DOC files. These may contain malware that could try to steal your information. If you do accidentally download something, then delete it right away. Then empty your trash bin.

#6. Use a strong password.

Strong passwords are inconvenient because they are difficult to remember. They’re also useful in preventing your personal information from being stolen. Always choose a password that contains numbers, special characters, and a combination of lower-case and upper-case letters. Many seniors use the names of their grandkids or important days in their lives. Scammers can guess these pretty easily to get into your stuff. Write down a tough password, then keep it somewhere safe.

#7. Only make purchases from a secure website.

Take a look at the URL of the website you are on. Does it start with https? If it does, then you can make an online purchase with a reasonable level of safety. If not, then the data can be compromised, and your banking information could become vulnerable.

Staying safe online is all about using your common sense. If something seems too good to be true, then it is. You didn’t win a lottery if you never played it. Should you have doubts about anything online, it is better to ask questions, or use guides like this, to ensure you stay safe.