How do you use the internet? To catch up with family and friends on Facebook? Check your daily email? Play Words With Friends? To shop? Share travel photos?
Are you using the internet more and more every day? If you’re like most, your answer is a resounding “yes.”
As the amount of seniors online increase every year, so do scammers. With more people online, there is more opportunity for thieves and scammers.
Avoid being scammed, having your identity stolen, or other forms of theft by following these tips:
- Don’t tell Facebook when you’re going on a trip. You never know who might take advantage of an empty house or apartment. Save your pictures and post them when you return.
- Refuse the offers that seem too good to be true. If you’re getting offers for free vacations, heaps of cash, or the newest tech device, ignore them. Don’t interact with them except to close out of them. You can install a pop-up blocker that will weed out most of the ads and make your experience a little more enjoyable.
- Use reputable sites when online shopping. You don’t want to give out your credit card information to just anyone. Check to see if there is a green padlock icon next to the URL; the icons mark safe sites. If there’s no padlock, then shop elsewhere.
- Verify a website’s reputation before filling out forms. Consider what information you’re disclosing. Does this website really need my Social Security number to continue? Chances are, it doesn’t.
- Delete emails from people you don’t know. Strangers don’t just find your personal email address. It’s better to be safe and delete it to help avoid a potential scam or virus.
- Use multiple passwords. Using the same password for everything is a bad habit to be in. If someone figures out your password, it is all too easy to break into all your other accounts. Most browsers can save your passwords for each account so you don’t have to remember all of them.
- Check your privacy settings on your social media. You can change them to cater to your needs. You can choose who can and cannot see your posts to protect your privacy.
- Ignore friend requests from strangers. If you don’t know them when they send you a friend request, then they don’t need to see your posts. If you ignore someone, then realize later that you do know them, you can send them a friend request.
Follow these tips to help you stay safe from internet scammers and identity thieves. You can still enjoy all the benefits of the internet without succumbing to the risks.