A growing number of aging seniors are now entering the online world. Unfortunately, there are predators waiting for any one of them to become their next victim. There are a number of ways you can protect your loved one from hackers and other seedy individuals who would want to cause them harm. Here are a few ways you can keep your senior safe online.
Protect their access to passwords. There are a number of ways you can help protect your loved one from revealing their passwords. If they live in your home, you can set the permissions on your computer much as you would if you had children. You will need to enter their password each time they want to get online. It can get to be a hassle, but it will help keep them safe.
Frequently change their password. If they live on their own, more than likely you will need to write their password down so that they can login on their own. You will want to frequently change their password to thwart the efforts of hackers.
Monitor their online use. When they are first online, depending on their age and ability, you may want to sit with them to help them understand how to navigate the web and how to get out of those places they should not be in. Help them choose what websites they want to visit. Bookmark those sites so that they can easily return when they are alone. Have an easy to read guide beside the laptop to help them know what steps to take to log on and off, search the web, and read their email.
Block access to inappropriate sites. As with parental control for children, you can block areas of the computer you deem inappropriate for you aging senior. There are software tools you can use to block access to certain websites, and you can also prevent them from getting into various chat rooms and forums. Depending on the email account, you can also block certain emails and instant messages if they are from anyone unknown to you.
Reinforce privacy concerns. One area you must strictly monitor and reinforce as often as necessary is that of sharing personal information. They should never give their real name, address, phone number or other information to anyone on the Internet. They could innocently stumble upon a contest or other application that looks like fun, and without realizing what they are giving out, provide information that could put them in danger.
While it may seem demeaning to your aging senior as well as feel uncomfortable to you to treat them as a child, your first concern is their safety, both online and in their home. Predators abound on the Internet and the growing number of elderly men and women who are heading into new territory can quickly become targets.
Spending time online can become an enjoyable way to spend their time. Following these guidelines can make the experience much more enjoyable as well as help keep your aging senior safe when they are online.