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Internet Safety: Protecting Your Loved One Online

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

It’s virtually impossible to avoid technology and the Internet these days, so it’s no surprise that seniors are on the World Wide Web. Omaha part-time care providers want family caregivers to understand that seniors often need help staying safe online. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your senior loved one practices Internet safety.

Don’t Give Money to Questionable Charities

Warn your senior loved one to be wary of people and organizations asking for money via email or in chat rooms. Explain to your senior loved one that the money may not go toward the cause represented and encourage your loved one to discuss donations with you or an Omaha caregiver. At the very least, teach your senior loved one to thoroughly research charities before making a commitment. 

Don’t Believe What You Read

It’s important for seniors to understand that the lady on Yahoo Answers who insists she’s a nurse may actually be a highschool student with a science book. That is, your senior loved one needs to understand that people may misrepresent themselves online, if not flat out lie about who they are. With that in mind, it’s important your senior loved one takes anything he or she reads online with a grain of salt. 

Don’t Use Easy Passwords

Talk to your senior loved one about the importance of setting a strong password for online accounts. While passwords like “password” and “12345” are commonly used and easy to remember, it doesn’t make them safe. Encourage your loved one to choose passwords that aren’t affiliated with obvious things about your loved one’s life. Secure passwords should have a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters and contain a number or symbol. Make sure your loved one doesn’t use the same password for every site, and have your loved one store the password somewhere secure in case he or she forgets. 

Don’t Buy Things from Unfamiliar Sites

Online shopping is a useful way for seniors to obtain products they want without having to leave home and give them a sense of independence. However, your loved one should exercise caution while shopping online. Teach your senior loved one to check out potential sites to ensure the site is a safe one to do business with. Encourage your loved one to refrain from filling in optional fields and never save their credit card information. 

Seniors are online more and more, but it’s important for them to exercise caution to protect their finances and personal information. If your loved one lives alone and owns a computer, he or she might benefit from having a live-in or part-time caregiver to walk them through the process. Omaha Home Care Assistance provides comprehensive in-home services for seniors including Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care. Your loved one’s safety is our number one priority, both online and off. Call us today at (402) 763-9140 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can protect your loved one.