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Keeping Mom Safe on the Internet

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By Shawn Turcotte

Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton, CPCA

HTTPS SecureFew of us can remember a time before cell phones were in everyone’s pocket. Even the Internet has become an integral part of our culture. Using the web to pay bills, conduct banking, scroll social media, and even book a vacation is super easy. It is common to be lulled into a false sense of security while surfing from the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, there is a dangerous part of the Internet. If you are not careful, you can easily give a thief just what they want from you.

While everyone is at risk of these cyber threats, the Department of Homeland Security indicates that “seniors are defrauded at twice the rate of the rest of the population.” At Home Instead Senior Care, we understand the dangers and the fun the Internet can bring to your parent’s life. Help your elderly parent avoid being a target when they are online.

6 Suggestions for Keeping Mom Safe on the Internet

Help your Mom and Dad continue to enjoy the benefits of the Internet when you share these suggestions:

  1. Change online passwords frequently. For every site or asset accessed, including the home computer, make a password that is secure and change it regularly.
  2. Create a different password for every site. It can be hard to remember passwords, so the easy thing to do is have one for everywhere you visit. Unfortunately, if a thief is able to get a hold of that password, they have access to every digital convenience you use.
  3. Avoid oversharing when on the web. While sharing vacation pictures on social media may be fun, thieves are watching and connecting dots to steal from you. Avoid the temptation to keep an open book about your life on Facebook! Never share personal information like your birthday or social security number.
  4. Do not talk to strangers (or at least use common sense). Meeting new people is fantastic. Just remember to be acutely aware of what personal information you share with someone you do not know.
  5. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! Your parent probably grew up hearing the adage, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” The same holds true in the online world. If they did not enter a contest but are being told they won a trip, the red flag should go up right away, and they should have nothing to do with it.
  6. Be aware of who to trust. Trustworthy sites that end in .gov (government) or .edu (education) are ones that can be relied on for information. When doing online banking, pay attention that you are on the right site by looking for the https:// and a small padlock in the corner of the address bar.

Encourage your senior loved ones to explore the Internet. With a little common sense, they can use all the interesting information and resources the web has to offer. Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton serves families and their senior loved ones to remain living independently. Our caregivers are highly trained and ready to assist you as you care for your aged loved one.

Call us at (780) 439-9990 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality home care we deliver each day to families in our community.


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