Computers/Internet and Exploitation of the Elderly
Seniors and their computers can be a potent mix.
At a recent Conference I learned that use of the internet by the Elderly has tripled in the past 3 years. Financial internet exploitation of seniors has also exploded, and is often not reported by the senior. There are three things the Internet Fraudsters want from seniors: their money, their identity, and to hack into their computer to span out to the world with their scurrilous activities. Seniors are especially vulnerable with internet exploitation because they have limited education and knowledge about computers and the internet. They are also less familiar with firewalls and malware protections software.
Seniors can protect themselves by taking the following precautions:
- Do not open emails from any of the following:
- Emails from the IRS
- Emails from the Bank or Investment Institutions unless you have verified authenticity
- Investment scams
- Email messages stating you have pornography on your computer
- Reverse Mortgage Scams
- Online Auctions
- Online dating to entrap victims
- Offers of online low cost travel packages
- Offers of low cost prescription drugs
- Fake charities which pop up after a disaster or during the holiday
- Offers of overstocked items at 90% off.
- Notifications that your computer is infected and immediately take a certain action to protect.
There are things you can do to protect your identity and your computer.
Recommendations to Protect your computer:
- Upon purchase of a computer be sure you get recommendations about protecting your computer with firewall and malware protection software.
- If you have a computer, consult with a reputable computer company on hardware and software protection solutions. The consultation is usually free, and the software is less than $100.00
- If you are using Windows XP, Microsoft no longer supports or updates this operating system and your computer will attract malware.
- If you receive any emails that contain an attachment with an extension that contain .exe, do not open it.
- If you are suspicious of any emails from people or institutions you do not know, DO NOT OPEN THEM!
If the email message offer sounds too good to be true….it is to good to be true! Do not be enticed to click on it or to respond in any way. If you have any suspicions about any emails you receive, contact someone with more knowledge and experience in computers. Report any fraud to the Police and the US Anti-Fraud Center.
Phishing is an illegal activity whereby internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information. The government website OnGuardOnline.gov, recommends, “don’t reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don’t click on links within them either – even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. It isn’t.Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels”.
Want to find out more?
Harnessing Technology for Aging-In-Place Conference “Technologies in Aid of Mobility” May 14-15, 2015, Vancouver, British Columbia
Helen Trowsdale, President of AA Care Services, is a nurse administrator with over 30 years of experience as a BSN, psychiatric nurse, and geriatric care manager with adults as well as pediatrics in hospitals, private duty home health care agencies, and residential home health care. Her team of caregivers are dedicated to serving their clients with home care in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin; providing clients with consistent, quality care while minimizing the number of caregivers in the home. Learn more about AA Care Services.