Monday, September 9, 2019

The Ultimate Internet Safety Guide for Seniors




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Every year, seniors are scammed out of tens of billions of dollars, money they’ve spent their entire lives saving only to have it stolen. The elderly have always been a prime target for Internet scams because of a perceived vulnerability, and now because Internet use among seniors is on the rise. A Pew Research Center survey showed that 67% of seniors are now regular Internet users.

Internet security is something everyone should prioritize, regardless of age, so it’s important to be aware of current threats and how to deal with them. With so many people online, the magnitude of scams is increasing.

 

Protect Your Computer

Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable systems that they can break into. Viruses and other malware often infect a computer through email attachments, compromised software, or vulnerable Bluetooth connections. With so many powerful, affordable security tools on the market, there’s no reason to risk an infection.

Install a Firewall
A firewall acts as the first layer of protection between your computer and any third-party by acting as a barrier. If you’re using a home computer, you need to ensure that your firewall is always turned on. Depending on your operating system, you can turn on Windows Firewall through the Control Panel. It will also notify you if any attempts have been made to compromise your security. If you’re a Mac user, we recommend you check out our list of vetted antivirus programs.

Install an Antivirus Program
Antivirus software is one of the most important solutions you can use to avoid infections. Both free and paid versions exist, and the most popular free options include Avast Free Antivirus, Microsoft Windows Defender, and AVG Antivirus. Make sure that any software you use is regularly updated and running the latest version.

As for ease of use, we highly recommend the following:
  • Norton by Symantec is a great all-around option that is reliable and easy to use.
  • Comodo offers a seamless experience. Start and stop scans with only one click.
  • If you’re looking for more options, check out our reviews on some of the best antiviruses on the market.
Installing Ad Blockers
Advertising is important for helping websites stay in business and keeping the cost of internet use down for consumers. However, some sites take things too far with so many ads you can’t even see the screen. Other websites may even be using ads to hide malware, a trick known as malvertising.
Some of this malware can install on your computer by simply visiting the webpage, even if you don’t click on the ad. Luckily, an ad blocker is easy to install or can be added as a simple extension to your browser.

The best free ad blockers include Adguard for Chrome and Firefox, AdRemover for Chrome, and Ghostery for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer, Android, and iPhone iOS.
You also want to protect your system against other possible threats like spyware. Window’s users can download the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool from the Windows Download Center. Both Windows and Mac users can use an anti-spyware solution like Malwarebytes.

 
Use Complex Passwords

Your computer needs to be protected with a password that is both complex and hard to guess. Ideally, it will be a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It also shouldn’t include any information that people can easily guess about you like your birthday or name.

Using these steps will ensure that any activity that you do on the internet does not negatively impact your computer. The software will protect your computer against any breaches and will notify you of the same. However, even with this software, you have to use your diligence in who you interact with and which websites you visit. The software can’t protect you against any scams and can only protect your computer system.

Avoiding Common Scams

Cybercrime is the fastest growing crime internationally, and it is estimated that it cost $600 billion last year alone. With so many threats, it can be difficult to protect yourself. Here are only a few of the rampant internet scams to watch out for:

Email Scams Scams that are communicated through an email are the most common. Phishing, for example, tries to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious purposes.

Phishing typically involves a scammer pretending to be someone else. The email looks real and will have a company’s color scheme, logo, and design style. It may feature an offer that seems too good to be true. However, if you look closely at the domain, you’ll notice it isn’t real. It may originate from a domain like Amazon.com, for example. When you click a link in that email, you will be taken to a website that may infect your computer with malicious threats. If you complete a purchase on this fake website, your credit card will likely be stolen.

Another form of email scams is whaling. It’s a lot like phishing, but the scammer targets businesses or C-level executives. Likewise, the email seems to come from a high-ranking executive, providing the scammer access to an account. The Snapchat CEO’s name, for example, was used in a mass email sent to his employees; it was successful in obtaining sensitive information about the company’s employees. To avoid this scam, verify the identity of the person sending you the email. If the email address and credentials check out but you’re still suspicious, contact the person or company about the email before following through.

To continue reading go the original article.

Used with permission.

BY: Eric C
Eric is a professional cyber tech expert with almost a decade of experience writing about security and tech. In recent years, he has been focused heavily on the rapidly developing fintech and cryptocurrency industries and how they relate to online security.
TAGS: PERSONAL SECURITY
POSTED: DECEMBER 16, 2018


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