Victims of online scams range in age, but for a number of reasons, seniors are particularly vulnerable to online financial abuse. It is incredibly important for seniors and their family members to review online safety tips, implement them, and regularly revisit online safety protocols. Here, we want to discuss some of the best ways for seniors to stay safe and protect their finances online.
Think Before You Act
The first step for anybody to take when they are online is to think before they act. This applies to everyone, regardless of age. Ignore emails or any communication that creates a sense of urgency or requires you to respond in a crisis. For example, any message that says there has been a problem with your bank account, Social Security number, or taxes is almost always going to be a scam. Your bank, IRS, or Social Security Administration will never use scare tactics or alarming messages to get your attention.
Additionally, if you see a deal that looks too good to be true, whether on Facebook, Craigslist, or any other online forum, chances are it is too good to be true. It is probably a scam.
Create Secure Passwords
You need to create a secure password, one that is difficult for others to guess or figure out. Under no circumstances should your password be anything that scammers can guess easily, including your birth month, any combination of your birthday, pet names, spouse names, names of your children, etc.
Most websites require you to create passwords that use a mixture of capital letters, symbols, and numbers. Having a separate password for every account can help thwart cybercriminals. There are also several third-party password managers you can use that will prevent you from having to remember every separate password. Additionally, you should consider setting up two-factor authentication for any financial log-ins.
Use Social Media Wisely
There is such a thing as too much sharing online. Most of us are so used to sharing every aspect of our daily lives online, down to the point of checking in at certain locations such as a bar, restaurant, or movie theater. Please understand that when you post something, it will essentially be online forever. By posting, you are giving up control, since others can save copies even if you remove your post. Whether it is a message or a photo, you may be inadvertently leaving personal information about yourself online that scammers can use to gain access to your accounts.
If you are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, or any other popular social media, take steps to keep your posts private.
Scammed? Contact a Financial Elder Abuse Lawyer
If you or an elderly family member has been the victim of a scam, or you suspect they have been the victim of financial elder abuse, contact an attorney as soon as possible. You can count on Attorney Joel Bryant to conduct a preliminary investigation into your case and help you determine the best steps moving forward. Attorney Bryant has extensive trial experience and enjoys an excellent reputation throughout the legal community as a compassionate advocate for his clients. When you need a Riverside financial elder abuse lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact the law offices of Joel Bryant.