Cyber criminals are starting to take a new approach, praying on older Americans that may not know enough about cyber security to protect their information. There are steps you can take to ensure your parents are protected from invasion and identity theft.
- Talk to your parents and see what they carry on their person. The loss of theft of a wallet containing cash, social security and insurance cards can be irreversible.
- Discuss the need for your parents to protect their information.Let them know that it is easy for anyone online to use name, addresses and other information to steal identities.
- Make sure to keep an eye on bank statements. look for charges or anything that looks irregular and report it to your bank.
- Explain that passwords need to be complex and not saved to computers.
- Explain emailing safely to your parents and tell them how email scams can damage the safety of their computer.
- Make sure your parents are aware of how to use social networking safely. Check your parents safety settings on Facebook and other sites and make sure they are not posting any sensitive information. Help them keep their inboxes clean of anything that could threaten to intrude on personal information.
- 1Encourage elders to streamline what they carry, leaving excess credit cards, identification items and money at home, while keeping only critical items in a wallet, or purse.
- 2Remind elders to never share personal identifying information, such as social security numbers, or account numbers with unknown people or companies, in person, or on the phone.
- 3It may be necessary to keep tabs on an older person’s mail and to go through their bank statements, to ensure their financial safety.