The Internet has made the world more accessible. And this is something that seniors would not want to miss out on. However, there are also a lot of dangers they can encounter. So, home health care provider Amavi prepared a guide to help them peacefully navigate cyberspace.
What The Internet Offers For Seniors
With it being a relatively new thing for them, seniors might wonder what the Internet has to offer. Here are some of the great things that older people can enjoy during their time online.
Staying Connected With Family
One of the biggest concerns many seniors have is not being able to see their loved ones often. That can often lead to a feeling of aloneness. The Internet lets them connect with their families and eases that feeling.
And it does so in a more fulfilling way than an old-fashioned phone call can do. Through video chat, they can converse with their families as if they are right with them. Additionally, they can use the new tech to find new friends.
Learning Something New
Even at their age, many seniors are still raring to learn new things. And the internet offers them easy access to a plethora of knowledge. Video tutorials now abound that they can watch during their leisure time. There are also tons of free downloadable resources they can get.
More than that, they get to learn from other people. Online communities let them reach out to like-minded people in their age group to exchange knowledge. Additionally, they get to share their knowledge, which helps build confidence.
Helps Maintain Independence
The Internet can be a surprisingly handy tool for seniors who wish to maintain their independence. That has to do with the magic of online transactions. With it, older people can buy the things they need, like food, medicine, and supplies without going out. They can also get other services with just one click.
Improving Mental And Physical Wellbeing
Your older loved ones can also boost their well-being through the internet. The above activities contribute to their mental health. Meanwhile, they also get access to information about various physical health concerns and solutions. Lastly, they can get health services quicker.
The Risks Seniors Face Online
Along with those benefits also come the risks. And this is what can dampen their online experience. Being aware of what these dangers are will help them better protect themselves. Here are the common ones that they should watch out for.
Getting scammed is always a danger for older people. But it has become more prevalent in the digital age. Here, scammers don’t even need to see their loved ones face-to-face. They can pretend to be anyone from old acquaintances, the authorities, or even family. And they can be hard to track once they strike.
There are many ways this one can go. The most common tactic here is to scam your loved ones out of their money. Scammers can also phish out vital information, such as their name, address, and social security number. They can then use the stolen information for various criminal activities.
The proliferation of false information has become a rampant issue in the last few years. And the net has become the largest source of it, facilitating its fast spread. Older people are often the most susceptible to falling for such manufactured info.
There are a multitude of risks present here. For one, it can lead to them distrusting things like modern medicine and science. It can also embolden them to make wrong decisions resulting in unwanted consequences. Lastly, it can result in conflict when people try to correct them.
Exposure To Malware And Viruses
While running into computer viruses and malware is a common danger for everyone, seniors might be especially vulnerable. That is often due to them being unaware of what these are exactly. Thus, they might not know how to deal with these.
In most virus and malware attacks, the senior might get a malfunctioning computer. However, the more nefarious ones can target their data, resulting in data theft.
Helping Seniors Be Safe Online
Helping your older loved ones be safe while they explore begins with setting up their computer right. Ensure that you have all the necessary antivirus and security software. You would also want monitoring software to track the sites they might be accessing.
However, you need to explain to them how all of these work. That gives them a better grasp of what they are doing and what could go wrong. Be patient here, especially for seniors using these devices for the first time.
Useful Security Tips
One of the things that you should touch upon when guiding your older loved ones on their online journey is security. Here are some of the essential pointers that you should teach.
- Creating strong passwords: Demonstrate how they can make strong but easy-to-recall passwords for their online accounts.
- Using security settings: You can demonstrate how they can adjust the security settings of their computers for more protection.
- Dealing with spam: Teach your older loved ones how they can quickly spot and dispose of spam messages that clutter their email.
Be sure to regularly guide them through these security procedures to ensure their safety.
Helping Seniors Against Scams
You would also want to guide your loved ones on dealing with scams better. Some simple preventive steps you should remind them of are as follows.
- Don’t click on links: Unless they know where such links lead, seniors should never immediately click a popup link.
- Be careful about downloading stuff: Seniors should download files only from legitimate sources.
- Research the source: Encourage your older loved ones to do a quick research on the entity trying to contact them to see if these are legitimate.
Help them better understand the distinctions between a legitimate source and potential scams through examples.
Helping Them Use Social Media
Social media is arguably one of the significant developments in the digital age. And it is something that seniors would want to get more of. But as with the above situations, there are also a lot of dangers.
Aside from the above safety tips, you would also want to teach your older loved ones how to navigate social media. One of the important lessons here is to think before they post. For instance, are they posting about something that will invite a lot of reactions? As such, they might want to set the post visibility to only those they want to see it.
On the other hand, you also need to teach them how to respond to online comments. Here, remind them to stay calm and avoid being provoked by strong comments. They should also think twice before responding to these.
Get The Help Of A Good Home Health Care Provider
We at Amavi understand how important it is for older people to take advantage of new technology. As such, we have made it an integral part of our home health care service. When you sign up with us, our caregivers can help your loved ones navigate the online world and stay safe. Get in touch with us and let’s help your loved one explore the virtual world.