The Internet can be an incredible resource, but seniors might not be aware of some of the dangers they could run into online. From identity theft to debilitating malware, there are quite a few risks seniors need to avoid. Luckily, with a little bit of assistance and some high-quality software, your aging loved one should be able to remain safe while surfing the Internet.
Start with an Honest Conversation
Many seniors are completely unaware that the Internet can be a dangerous place, and having a conversation about online safety and security is a great starting point. Make it clear to your loved one that there are many criminals online who could wreak havoc on his or her finances. You can also ask your parent to come to you with any questions or concerns he or she might have.
A home caregiver can monitor your loved one’s safety when you need to take a break from your caregiving duties. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Philadelphia respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
Find a Computer Education Class
If your loved one is open to the idea, search for a local computer education class. These courses teach a wide variety of skills, including how to use a computer, surf the Internet, and send emails. They should also include a section on Internet security and what steps can be taken to protect one’s identity. You might be able to find a free or affordable computer literacy class at the local library, community college, or senior center.
Install Robust Antivirus Software
Even if your loved one is relatively familiar with computers and the Internet, mistakes can still happen. A solid antivirus program is going to be the first line of defense against all types of malware. After you’ve installed the antivirus software, make sure it automatically updates at least once a week. You can also take a close look at the settings and switch them to the highest level of security.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, his or her online activity may need to be supervised closely, and a home caregiver can help. Families looking for top-rated Philadelphia at-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Discourage Communication with Strangers
As a general rule, older adults should avoid anyone they don’t recognize online. If your loved one ever receives an email from a stranger or gets a friend request on social media from an individual he or she doesn’t know, your parent may want to block the contact and move on. Cybercriminals often use those types of touchpoints to figure out exactly who they can target.
Sign Up for an Identity Protection Service
Identity theft is on the rise, and a cybercriminal can do an incredible amount of damage to a senior’s finances in a very short time. Luckily, there are quite a few companies that offer identity protection services for a low monthly fee. One of those companies can carefully track your loved one’s finances and credit report to see if there’s any unusual activity. Many of them also offer excellent guarantees, which means seniors can be reimbursed if any fraudulent accounts are opened in their name or their bank information is stolen.
Using the Internet safely is just one of the issues aging adults must navigate in today’s modern world. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.