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How to Keep Seniors Safe Online

Older Man Using Laptop and Cell Phone

Getting online is an excellent way for seniors to remain active, social, and learning. However, everyone should take precautions when they use the internet, regardless of age. Seniors are at a disadvantage here because most elderly folks do not receive formal technology training. If you want to help your senior get online, it’s important to instill good habits, or digital hygiene, early on. 

Introducing your senior to digital hygiene is also a good opportunity to learn other technologies. We recommend starting with an easy-to-use medical alert system. The digital world can feel inaccessible to seniors, so starting with a medical alert system is a great way to begin talking about online safety.

Top Privacy Tips for Older Adults

Digital hygiene is important for everyone, including seniors. While there are many ways to stay safe online, some are more important for elderly people. Here are some easy ways to protect your data or a loved one’s information while they’re online.

  • Practice good link habits. Seniors might have a difficult time filtering out spam or advertisements from hyperlinks they want to click. As a rule of thumb, any link that indicates a sense of urgency, like a warning about a bank account, is likely a scam. Remember that friends’ accounts may get hacked, so it’s best to assess links based on the context, not necessarily on the person who sent it.
  • Make your password into a sentence. The stronger your password, the safer your online presence. However, some older folks might have trouble remembering a combination of letters, words, and punctuation. An easier solution is to turn their passphrase into a sentence. Focus on sentences that are personal and easy to remember, such as, “My daughter’s name is Jane.”
  • Protect your passwords. Try to not use the same password more than once, and make sure to record passwords as you create them. Writing down passwords and passphrases on a sticky note, then putting it on the computer or table, can keep account information safe without risking forgetting the password entirely.
  • Understand the Internet lifecycle. Seniors may accidentally share personal details when they post pictures and messages online, especially if they’re on social media. It’s important to remember that once a post goes online, it will stay there forever – even if you can’t see it anymore. As a result, it is important to always post with care.
  • Use an Antivirus program. Most computers come pre-loaded with antivirus software, but it’s important to double check. Installing antivirus programs can limit the ability for others to hack your computer, gather personal data, and render the machine useless.

Stay Safe Online and In the Home with a Medical Alert System

Alert1 Senior Playing on Tablet

While digital hygiene is an important part of senior living, physical health is a paramount concern. If you or your senior is trying to develop healthy digital habits, this might be a good opportunity to check in on physical wellness, too. Medical alert systems are an easy, effective, and near-invisible way to seamlessly integrate physical safety into your daily life. Plus, the medical alert systems from Alert1 are priced more affordably than standard Life Alert® costs