An estimated 67 percent of older adults in the US have been targets or victims of an internet scam, according to recent reports. As such, cyber security for seniors should be a top priority.

Seniors are targets because:

  • They tend to have financial assets or investments.
  • They’re not as literate in technology as their millennial counterparts.
  • They can be tentative to report the fraudulence out of embarrassment or fear of vulnerability.

For senior adults, it’s essential to take proper security measures for online protection. Use the following tips to ensure cyber security for seniors.

Update Your Antivirus Software

Without a reliable and current antivirus software installed on your computer, your data or files are unshielded against multiple security hazards. While recent Microsoft computers have the built-in protection of Windows Defender, the software has limitations. Reinforce safety precautions with an external antivirus program. Tech Advisor breaks down the most reputable options on the market for 2019 which include Bitdefender, Norton Deluxe and ESET Internet Security, among others.

Exercise Caution with Public WiFi

In today’s connected and high-speed culture, you can access the internet anywhere—both at home and in public. However, while community WiFi networks are free and convenient, there’s no guarantee on security. Avoid public WiFi on both a computer or smartphone unless it’s a trusted source. For example you’re at a cafe, look for a password protected network that’s only available to customers.

In addition, Wired recommends only visiting sites with encrypted HTTPS instead of an unencrypted HTTP, as the latter is prone to suspicious activity. See the below example of our Vineyard Henderson site. Note that a secure website URL will start with “https://”, and the browser will show a lock symbol.

Be Discreet With Your Private Data

Around one in four online shoppers across the U.S. are 55+, based on a report in Business Insider. The increased popularity of e-commerce among seniors equates to an increase in the risk of a personal data compromise. Be mindful of any website or checkout page that requests sensitive information (such as your bank account, birthdate or social security number). Only enter those private details when it’s absolutely essential. Moreover, if your computer or mobile device prompts you to store the information, decline this option, so it’s not accessible for cybercriminals.

Use Strong Passwords

From everything to social media to banking profiles, most websites require a password. If you choose one that’s simplistic, you can be an automatic target for hackers.To counteract this threat, create a password that is too random and unique for someone to guess, but not so jumbled that you can’t remember it. According to Google, strong passwords are more than eight characters and use various letters, numbers, and symbols. This combination increases the odds that your login credentials are unbreakable, and your data remains impenetrable.

Prioritize Cyber Security for Seniors

As a senior adult, enjoy connectivity while staying mindful of the associated risks. For peace of mind, follow these cyber security tips, so you can surf the internet and protect your data at the same time.