July 17, 2019
Internet scams, viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing are all online dangers. When you’re on the internet and engaging with others in forums, email, and social media, there are safety measures to follow. Do your parents know them?
Set a Secure Password
For any sites that require the user to create an account, set a secure password. Don’t use one password on every site. Create different passwords for different sites. Keep track of them in a notebook that’s locked in the home safe or in a password-protected spreadsheet.
Passwords shouldn’t be simple words like ABC123 or “Password.” The password should be a series of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Never Click Links in Emails
If your parents get an email asking them to click a link, they need to be careful. It might be legitimate if they’ve recently signed up and need to confirm their email or have asked to change their password. If they didn’t make those requests, it is very likely a scam.
Instead of clicking the link in emails saying there’s a problem with a bank account, open that bank by typing in the bank’s name into the search bar. Access the bank through the official site and see if there really is a problem.
Use Software to Protect Against Malware, Viruses, and More
Install and use software that helps prevent malware, ransomware, viruses, and other online dangers. There are multiple free programs out there that work well. There are also versions your parents can buy.
Make sure that the software you use does automatic updates and scheduled scans. You’ll be able to set a time for the scans and ensure that automatic updates are turned on. This prevents your parents from having to use the software if they’re not computer savvy.
Do Not Interact With Strangers
When possible, avoid talking to any strangers. If someone sends a friend request and your mom and dad don’t know them, refuse it. If that person is persistent, block him/her and report them.
Use spam filters on your email account. And, remember that an email may look like a friend sent it, but scammers can spoof emails and make it look like they sent it from someone else’s account. If you get an email from a friend or relative asking for money or help with a financial transaction, don’t fall for it.
Limit Your Parents’ Time Online
It may be time to hire home care services. If your mom or dad is spending a lot of time online socializing, it helps to have someone there to make sure your parent isn’t falling for a scam. Call a home care agency to research rates and services.