Seniors use the Internet for a variety of reasons, such as connecting with family and friends, paying bills, conducting research, and playing brain games. However, they must remain cautious when visiting certain websites to reduce the risk of fraud and elder abuse. Continue reading to learn how you can help your aging loved one stay safe online.
1. Protect Passwords
When visiting familiar websites, your loved one may see a message that allows him or her to store passwords. Although this option prevents your loved one from having to enter this information each time he or she visits a site to pay bills, place an online order, or log into a social media account, it could increase the odds of being hacked. Your loved one should always use caution when storing passwords and usernames on his or her devices. If your loved one were to misplace his or her tablet, laptop, or smartphone, someone could access websites through your loved one’s accounts. When it comes to public computers, your loved one should never store his or her information on them, and he or she should always clear the search history.
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. Huntsville 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.
2. Only Use Secure Retail Sites
Your loved one should never upload his or her social security number, credit card details, or banking account information online unless it’s a trusted site you or another family member can verify. If a retail site uses a third-party business to handle online credit card payments, your loved one should research the store to ensure it’s safe and secure before uploading his or her account details. You can download security programs like Norton that verify the safety of websites for customers.
3. Use Social Media with Caution
One of the best ways to connect with family and friends and build new relationships with like-minded individuals is by using social media. Seniors can create accounts for free and catch up on the latest news, upload pictures and videos, and send messages to other users, increasing socialization. However, your parent must be cautious with what he or she shares online. For instance, your loved one should avoid checking in to businesses when online because he or she could forget to turn the feature off and accidentally share his or her location with strangers.
4. Monitor Online Activity
Respecting your loved one’s privacy doesn’t prevent you from looking over the websites he or she visits, especially if he or she is living with a neurological condition that affects memory. Although accessing computers and different online sites can enhance cognitive health and trigger memories, seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s should never go online without supervision. Monitoring your loved one’s computer usage could prevent him or her from overspending when shopping and reduce the odds of sharing personal information on unsafe websites.
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 home care service 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.
5. Suggest Taking Online Safety Classes
With so many advances in modern technology, seniors should take courses in online safety and proper computer usage. These classes can provide instruction about software programs and help your loved one avoid issues like identity theft and harmful computer viruses. Check with your local library, senior center, or colleges and universities to see if they offer free or discounted senior-friendly computer education classes.\
Using the Internet safely is just one of the issues aging adults must navigate in today’s modern world. 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 home care. Huntsville families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To learn about our premier in-home care plans and how they can help your loved one, give us a call at (256) 716-9940 today.