Tips for Safer Computer Use

July is Scam Awareness Month and we are trying to highlight the scams aimed at seniors. In this digital age, more seniors than ever are online, using the internet, email, and social media, and in turn, more devious people are finding ways to scam seniors out of money, identity and security, all which could have detrimental consequences.

Here are some simple rules which could help prevent seniors being scammed.

Security. Make sure your computer has all the security it needs as well as a security updating system. There are many anti-virus programs available, check with a trusted source who is knowledgeable about computer to help choose the right one for you.

Call the seller. If you are trying to buy something online, make sure to obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and to see if the telephone number is correct and working.

Avoid sending personal information. Scammers might send out email on bank letterhead and say there is a problem with the account and you need to update information, password and account number. This is a sign of a scam. Never reveal your passwords to strangers.

Learn to identify spam and scams. Don’t respond to emails from people you don’t know or to emails you haven’t expected to receive. Don’t ever give out personal information, including banking and credit card numbers, to anyone you don’t know.

Purchase merchandise from reputable sources. If you are unsure, get a second opinion from someone you trust.

Guard your account information carefully. Be sceptical of individuals representing themselves as foreign government officials asking for your help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts. Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.

Be wary of any offer that’s too good to be true. If you have been told you won a contest that you didn’t enter, or you’re being offered an incredible price on a vacation or product way below what you’d expect to pay, chances are they are scams. Do not reply to these emails.

Use strong and unique passwords Strong passwords are essential, just as they are with email and social media accounts. Never share your passwords with anyone, unless you have designated someone you trust to manage your accounts.

If you are concerned that you might have been scammed or if you know someone that has been affected by fraudsters, make sure to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

We have information in the office on scam prevention and we have an online course on scam awareness which is certificated on completion by the National Trading Standards Scam Team. Our CAREGivers are currently working to complete this test so they will be better armed to help and advise clients about being scamaware.

If you would like any more information on how we at Home Instead can help then please telephone me, Victoria on 01992 666777 or email me [email protected]

office group photo with CQC 'Outstanding' award
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home