We should all be careful any time we share personal details online, especially when entering information related to banking, shopping, or healthcare. One way to tell if a site is safe is to look at the beginning of the website address for the letters HTTPS. In this, the “S” stands for secure, and the information typed on an HTTPS website will be encrypted so that hackers can’t intercept it. If the web address begins with HTTP without an S, the site is not secure, and you should not enter any personal details. Remember to always keep your Virus and Malware applications up to date, this the easiest and best way for a hacker to gain access to your computer. I have added some links below for the applications I use to keep my customers safe.
While the internet can be a fun and educational resource for all of us, it’s important that we learn to use it responsibly. With a bit of awareness about the major risks involved and a few basic precautions, it’s possible for everyone to enjoy what the internet has to offer and flourish within the digital world.
Examples of fake pop ups We call this SCAREWARE!!
Social Media Security settings
Most social networks offer an option to restrict who can view a user’s profile, who can contact the user, and the things they post online. Hackers will sometimes approach users as if they were family members or friends in order to gain access to a user’s personal information. Limiting who has access to a persons profile lessens the chance that cyber criminals will take advantage of you.
Practice Email Safety
Email scams are some of the most common and successful approaches cyber criminals use. Hackers might pose as financial or healthcare institutions, and often these messages will include urgent requests that require users to log in to their accounts. The links included in these types of message will lead to a fake page where hackers can easily steal a senior’s information. As a rule, it’s best not to respond to any unexpected or suspicious messages or click any links in these emails. Even if you trust the sender, it’s best to open a new window and type the website in yourself rather than clicking the link. Also, avoid opening attachments from senders you don’t know.
The email tactic is especially malicious since there are so many healthcare policy changes today that do affect seniors and require action to be taken. In addition to following basic email safety precautions, it’s helpful for seniors to be familiar with the pros and cons of all the healthcare options available to them by engaging in online communities. Being tuned-in to the conversation helps seniors discern which healthcare emails are legitimate and which are not. Knowledge is power, and the more information a senior has, the better able they are to sniff out a scam without clicking a single thing.
Create Strong Passwords
Many sites and online services require users to create a username and password. While it may seem convenient to use common phrases and repeat the same password for different accounts, this can significantly increase the risk that a hacker will be able to access a senior’s personal information. A strong password should be at least eight characters long and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Credit Card Safety
Only use your credit card on websites you trust.
When you shop with your credit card online, it’s important that you only go to websites you trust. Avoid clicking on email links, particularly in unsolicited emails, because these links could take you to a fake website that’s set up for the sole purpose of stealing your credit card information. Instead, go directly to the real website by typing the URL in your internet browser.
Don’t make online credit card purchases from public places.
Public computers and networks are less secure so there’s a greater chance that your credit card information can be stolen when you use it to make purchases on a public computer.
I personally use and would highly recommend using a pre-paid visa or mastercard that can be provided by most banks, Walmart and local drug stores. The reason behind using a prepaid credit card is to put a layer of security between you and a potential hacker or (CROOK) that is looking to steal your money. If this happens, the most you will lose is the amount you have loaded on the card. For example if you know you are going to spend $50.00 for something online, you can transfer from your bank the amount you need to your pre-paid card. In the unlikely event your card does get compromised you would be out the amount you have loaded on your pre-paid card of $50.00.
If this did happen you can throw that pre-paid card away and get a new one and continue on without hours and hours of calls to the banks or department stores.
Computer Technologies and More
394 West Main St. A15
Hendersonville TN. 37075