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Computer Safety for Seniors – a checklist

Seniors are most vulnerable to computer scams and viruses, making their computer safety critical. Generally, seniors did not grow up with computer technology or use it every day during their careers. If you are a senior or concerned about someone who may be vulnerable to computer crime, use this checklist to manage computer security.  

Protecting passwords

The bad guys want your passwords, which protect accounts from unauthorized access. Create different passwords for each account, using strong passwords of at least eight characters. Store passwords safely to keep them secure.

Use Links Carefully

Be careful if you receive a hyperlink. Scammers use links to target seniors with ransomware and spyware for identity theft and to gain access to bank accounts. To be safe, do not click links to anything unless you requested it. If unsure, ask a family member. 

Danger when Sharing Personal Information

Be careful sharing personal information. Just because someone knows something about you doesn’t mean they are trustworthy.

Be Skeptical

One significant danger on the internet is misinformation. Some very convincing misinformation is presented as fact, which means you should be skeptical. Find a fact-checking website that you are comfortable using to check facts, or ask someone you trust before sharing. You don’t want to contribute to misinformation.

Share Views Respectfully

The internet is a forum, and it’s reasonable to want to share views. However, social media manners are essential. Be respectful when sharing opinions and keep a level head. It’s in everyone’s best interest to be respectful of all the different opinions.

Beware Scams

Scams are common – by phone, email, and social media. No one will contact you out of the blue to fix your computer. Your bank and the IRS will never request that you verify personal information. Never send money to someone you don’t know or to a relative requesting funds without verifying the situation. That includes someone who sounds like a grandchild or their best friend. 

Protect Privacy

Computer safety also means protecting privacy by not sharing where you live, contact information, or banking details. Be wary of anyone requesting these details.

Update Software

One big issue with computer security is keeping security and malware-protection software up to date. Many software updates are automatic but require a computer reboot to refresh.  

Getting Help for Computer Safety

It happens. If you fall victim to a scammer or download something malicious, it’s best to trust a local computer repair shop like GrohTech to fix it for you. GrohTech offer virus cleanup, new security software installation, computer checkups, and data recovery to ensure everything runs smoothly. The diagnosis is free. Many services can be handled remotely to help you stay safe during COVID-19.