The internet can be a scary place, especially if you’re old enough to be able to remember dialing a rotary telephone! In 2020, in the US alone, cyber crimes against adults aged 60 and over resulted in approximately $1 billion in losses — a 30% increase over the losses reported in the previous year. Of the almost 800,000 complaints of cyber crime reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in 2020, over 200,000 victims were over the age of 60.
Staying safe online can be really overwhelming — most users have their photos, credit cards, personal communications, financial information, and devices exposed to hackers every single day without even knowing that they’re in danger.
In this article, I’m going to explain the most common online threats facing seniors today, such as:
- Viruses and malware.
- Data breaches/password theft.
- Social media scams.
- Banking fraud.
- Privacy violations.
- And more…
If this list has made you feel nervous (and you’re getting ready to unplug all of your devices and go back to your rotary phone), don’t worry! The vast majority of cyber attacks can be easily prevented with the proper tools, some basic education, and plain old common sense.
Most seniors don’t know the difference between ransomware and a random number generator — which is why the best security software has been designed for even non-tech savvy users. In addition to defining the most dangerous cyber threats (and giving you practical tips to avoid them), I’ve personally selected highly secure antivirus programs, password managers, and even virtual private networks (VPNs) that can keep you safe with a minimal amount of setup and that are very easy to use.
So whether you’re looking for the best deals for rotary phones on eBay, trying to figure out why strange Russian girls are trying to sell you Ray-Bans through Facebook Messenger, or you just want to safely keep up with family, friends, and finances online, look no further — my ultimate internet safety guide for seniors is your one-stop shop for internet security assistance in 2022.