A Senior’s Guide to Protecting Your Money Online

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Going online for seniors is fantastic; it has enabled so many to keep learning, connect with friends and family and play games and can gain access to a whole world of information. But it can also be a dangerous place, so what are the best ways to stay safe online?

INSTALL ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE.

Unfortunately, malicious people are operating on the internet whose only aim is to infect computers with malware. Malware is software which tries to disrupt your computer; to steal your data, or to stop your computer from working. It is continually evolving, so you need to keep your computer checked for malicious programs on an ongoing basis which you can do by installing anti-virus software.

CHOOSE ROBUST PASSWORDS

Always choose strong passwords for online accounts by making sure they are quite long and made up of a mixture of upper and lower case characters; numbers; and special characters. Make sure that you choose different passwords for each separate account that you have and never let anyone know what they are. If you think you’re going to forget your passwords, then write them down in a safe place. Reveal your password to anyone. Also, make sure that your Wi-Fi network at home is secured by a password so that strangers can’t access your data.

BEWARE OF PHISHING

Phishing is when you receive an email from what you think is a company that you know. It could look like an email from your bank or a well-known shop and will usually be asking for you to click on a link or input your personal information. These emails, however, are not from the person or business that you think they are, they are actually scams. They can appear genuine so if you receive an email asking you to clarify your details, then ring the company directly on the telephone to check the actual email address that the email has come from because this will usually look very odd and you’ll be able to tell that it is a scam. Also, if you receive an attachment in an email from someone you don’t recognise, never download the attachment as it may contain malware which could break your computer. If you are unsure about an email, take a screenshot and send it to a friend or family member. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can click here for how to screenshot on Mac or if you have a PC you can search online.

TAKE CARE ONLINE BANKING

Online banking can make life much easier and has been so useful, especially for seniors, saving them many trips to the bank and the ease of managing their money from home. However, this is something you need to be careful with. With the advice above, you will already be very secure, however, to make sure you’re extra safe. You can also check with your bank to see if they offer two-step authentication as this will keep you even safer. This means that you can set it up so that you receive a different code via a text message every time you log into your online bank account, ensuring that it is you accessing your account and not someone trying to commit fraud. Make sure you never give out your user name or password to anyone, even if they are saying that they are from the bank, either over the phone or in an email. A bank will never ask for this information.