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How to stay safe online part 1 – security tips for seniors
The internet: 85%* of us use it, for entertainment, education, social networking and online shopping, and Australian seniors are using it more and more. It’s just a part of our lives now – whether we like it or not!
But with all the ease and convenience – and novelty! – of the internet, there are some risks associated with how we use and share our personal information. With a few common-sense precautions and some simple tools, you can protect yourself online. Follow these top tips as a starting point:
Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you have too many passwords and it’s impossible to remember them, but having good passwords on your accounts is super important. The longer and more complex your password the harder it is for someone to decode it and access your details.
A good password is:
Avoid using personal details in your password, like part of your birthdate or PIN numbers, or the same password across all accounts.
Email has become an essential tool for communicating, managing household accounts and receiving newsletters. It’s become such an everyday part of our lives, but it’s important to manage it safely.
Take care when responding to any emails that:
Never click on links or open attachments from emails where you’re not completely sure of who has sent it – this is one of the most common ways to catch a virus or enter a scam.
There’s lots of ways now that you can set a lock on your mobile or tablet device to keep it secure, whether it’s a password, Personal Identification Number (PIN), passcode, gesture or fingerprint that must be entered to unlock the device.
You can also:
Having a lock helps to reduce the possibility of someone else being able to use your device and access your information.
It’s so easy and convenient to do shopping online! And there are some amazing savings to be found – but there are unscrupulous companies who do try to take advantage of us with too-good-to-be-true deals.
Keep safe by:
If the product you’ve ordered doesn’t arrive, contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible.
ScamWatch explain ‘phishing’ as attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out personal information such as your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.
Phishing scams can be hard to spot because they pretend to be from a legitimate business like a bank or utility provider, and often look and sound exactly like the company.
They can contact you via phone, email, text or message you through social media and may try to alarm you by saying you have an overdue account or have suspicious activity on your account, or they might say you have won a prize or special offer.
One tell-tale sign is if they ask you to confirm any of your personal or credit card details. You should always refuse, and then make your own call to the business they claim to be from. If it’s legitimate business and you have a registered account, they will be able to confirm your details to you, which is much safer.
The Scamwatch website says: 'Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo. They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address. For example, if the legitimate site is 'www.realbank.com.au', the scammer may use an address like 'www.reallbank.com'.'
This is a god first step, but technology is always changing and there’s no one product or action that will keep everyone safe.
If you would like to know more about how to protect yourself online, you can visit: