Using the Internet keeps seniors stimulated and can make daily life less challenging. However, there are many risks associated with being online, such as financial scams and hacking. With a little monitoring, you can protect your elderly parent’s safety while he or she is using web-enabled devices. Below are some tips that can keep seniors safe when using the Internet.
Go Over the Privacy Settings
Before signing up for any websites, seniors should always go over the safety and privacy settings for each platform. For example, many social media platforms give users the option to keep their photos, posts, and personal information private from people who aren’t on their friends lists. Go over the privacy settings with your loved one before he or she starts adding details to his or her account.
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. Richmond 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.
Use Critical Thinking Skills
Explain to your parent that some emails are scams and can cause computers to be infected with viruses. After reading a message, your loved one should determine if he or she is going to respond or wait until you or other family caregivers have read the correspondence to determine if it’s a scam. Remind your loved one that banks, doctors, and insurance companies will never ask him or her to verify personal information via the Internet and not to submit his or her account numbers and other pertinent details online.
Avoid Listing Locations on Social Media
When visiting popular places, social media users often share their locations. The downside to this location-sharing feature is that a senior could forget to turn it off and risk showing his or her real address when posting from home. To prevent dangerous mistakes like this, your parent should avoid listing his or her location when using social media platforms.
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 elderly home care 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.
Share Photos with Caution
When your parent is out of town, remind him or her to wait until he or she has returned home before sharing photos. Social media users, especially nearby residents, could learn your loved one is gone and break into his or her home. Once your parent has returned home safely, he or she can share the photos, always using caution.
Install Security Software
Downloading security software can protect your loved one when using the Internet. The programs typically display messages stating whether specific sites are dangerous or safe to visit. When the software indicates a web address is unknown, your parent should avoid visiting the website. Security software could also prevent pop-ups and block malware that harms computers, laptops, and tablets.
Always Log Out
Many seniors use the Internet to check their bank accounts, pay bills, and access important emails and documents. Seniors should always log out after visiting these websites. Leaving the apps and websites open could increase the odds of privacy violations and security breaches. Call your loved one to remind him or her to log out of his or her accounts, or check his or her devices when you come home each day.
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 homecare. Richmond families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call Home Care Assistance at (804) 207-4746 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.