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Ingleside at Rock Creek Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Monday, July 19, 2021

Digital Safety Tips for Seniors

We live in a digital world. And one that changes so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with all the new options.

But as amazing as the possibilities are, the risks of living in this type of world are increasing as well.

Although a virtual reality brings convenience and connection, it’s still wise to be aware of areas where your security might be compromised. A little caution can go a long way.

Understanding security risks in your everyday on-line life

The ways you stay in touch with family and friends, pay bills, shop or store your information are a few of the advantages the internet has provided. But they each can bring an element of risk.

Personal email accounts

Handwritten letters and cards may seem a thing of the past. Sending an email that is received almost simultaneously is quick and easy and a great way to communicate. But connecting through Wi-Fi also means there is a chance for someone unintended to intercept or use your email account for scams or spam.

Social Media

It’s such a great way to see pictures of your grandchildren, reconnect with old friends or learn new information that it becomes hard to remember how we did this before social media. Caution should be used however in how much information you choose to share and how it may be used by the supporting platform.

Shopping on-line

Many people love the convenience of shopping on-line and businesses have taken steps to make it as easy as possible. It’s understandable why physical stores may be replaced with virtual ones but just be sure to shop with reputable vendors who have safeguards in place to handle your payment information.

Storing information in the cloud

Today, many people opt for cloud storage instead of keeping everything on their hard drive. The benefits are many, including not taking up space on your computer and having access to your files if your device crashes. You may worry about security but most cloud companies use robust cybersecurity measures that can be safer than your own.

Digital safety tips

You don’t have to give up your computer or smart phone to boost your on-line security but you may want to consider the following safety tips to minimize your risks:

1. Watch out for phishing scams

These often include fake notices intended to get your personal information. Don’t click on a link if you don’t know who sent it and remember that banks and credit card companies won’t ask for this information through email. Even with a company’s colors and logo, scammers can’t use the actual domain name of who they are pretending to be so pay attention to the address, which may have a slight change such as “ama.zon.com” instead of “amazon.com”.

2. Take advantage of security software

Take all the safety precautions that you can for your computers and smartphones. Install security software, turn on your firewall, keep current with any program’s updates and use secure passwords. Don’t use pet names, anniversaries, birthdays or children’s names. Instead create a combination of numbers, both lower and upper case letters and special characters.

3. Get help if needed

Unless you are really computer savvy or up to date on the latest safety issues, don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. Whether it’s a knowledgeable family member or a professional, it’s not worth the security risk – or the frustration – of trying to figure out everything yourself.

4. Don’t be too trusting

Remember that people can easily and quickly put up a website that looks official and legitimate.

Before completing on-line surveys or quizzes that ask about your health, finances or mortgage information, ask yourself who will have this information and how they will use it. Confirm any sites that say they are safe or have safeguards in place in exchange for your personal information. Make sure those are not simply words on their website.

5. Remember, you’re already on-line

If you think you’re safe by not going on-line, you’ll still want to keep your eye out for any suspicious activity because your public life is already digitally accessible, even if you didn’t put it there. This can include

  • Public government records

  • Home location, home price, property taxes and mortgage information

  • Address and phone number

  • Organizations you work with or volunteer for

6. The reach of the internet extends far beyond your family and friends

You may have posted a photo thinking only your family and friends would see but anything you put on-line may forever be accessible to anyone. Posting details about your vacation on social media may alert someone that you are not at home. Giving out personal information may be used to steal your identity. And even if you remove the information, it is likely still in cyberspace.

7. No stranger or company is going to give you free money

Use common sense if you’re offered free money from a stranger in exchange for a simple favor. No legitimate company will ever need your help to transfer funds by using your bank account. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Even if you think an offer could be legitimate, it’s better to say no first and then take the time to confirm or authenticate.

Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living

We all enjoy the many benefits that an on-line world can offer but it’s best to be safe and proceed with a little caution. We hope you find these digital safety tips helpful.

If you are considering whether an independent living community could be the right choice for you, we invite you to discover how beneficial Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living can be.

Along with being supported in your efforts to age well and live life to the fullest, you’ll appreciate the ease in keeping active, eating healthy, staying in good physical condition and creating strong social relationships.

You’ll also have the choice of a spacious one or two bedroom floor plan with a full sized kitchen, large windows that flood your living space with natural light, safety features and underground parking.

If you’re searching for the type of lifestyle you’ve always imagined, we hope you’ll consider the many benefits of Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living.

Please visit our website for more information. Call (202) 846-2651 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.



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