Tips for Safer Computer use for Seniors

August is Scam Awareness Month and here we share some tips for safer computer use.

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.

Security. Make sure your computer has all virus checker installed. There are many anti-virus programs available. A good free one to start with is McAfee.

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.

Learn to identify spam and scams. Don’t respond to emails from people you don’t know and never open attachments from strangers. Don’t ever give out personal or banking information to anyone you don’t know.

Purchase merchandise from reputable sources. You are generally protected for purchases through Amazon and eBay. Otherwise do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.  Make sure to obtain the seller’s physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number

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 help.

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.

At Home Instead we hold regular Scam Awareness Talks throughout the Glasgow South and East Renfrewshire areas to raise awareness of the latest, telephone, postage, email and computer scams. If  you would like us to present at your next group meeting, lunch club or society get-together then please contact Tasnim on 0141 404 5160 and we will be happy to arrange a convenient time.

If you are concerned that you might have been scammed contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home