6 Simple Ways to Help the Elderly Safely Connect Online during Lockdown

For the last few weeks, much has changed in our lives. People have been urged to only leave home if it is absolutely necessary, such as to shop for essential items or to seek medical care. However, there are plenty of technologies available to help us maintain the usual rhythm of our daily lives. For instance, food delivery services on offer allow us to order grocery items without having to leave the house.

Unfortunately, not everybody is able to take advantage. People who are at greatest risk and need these services most – the elderly – can often experience some difficulties in using modern tools that many of us otherwise take for granted.

To stay in touch and buy the essentials, older generations are having to learn how technologies work and become more comfortable spending more time than usual online, which adds cybersecurity risks to the other challenges they face.

According to a recent Kaspersky survey, 46% of people who are aged 55 or over do not take any special measures to protect themselves online. This can lead to their details being stolen or revealed to third parties, as older generations may find it difficult to distinguish between genuine deals and scams created by those trying to exploit them.

To help the elderly stay protected online while they are at home during the Coronavirus lockdown, consider the following measures:

  1. Use phone and video chats to help with technical support remotely. Many programmes, such as Skype, also allow desktop sharing to facilitate support.
  2. Share details about websites where they can place food orders or find assistance on other important issues with them or consider helping them by logging into their accounts to support them. Be careful who you share your credentials with though. Alternatively, you could consider shopping online for them – many providers allow delivery to multiple locations.
  3. Explain that they should not use the same password for more than one website or service. Consider supporting them with a password manager tool to make this easier.
  4. Talk to them about the dangers of phishing and responding to links in unsolicited emails, social media and SMS messages, to help them avoid scams when banking and shopping online.
  5. Let them know that they should avoid saving their card details on the websites they visit and purchase from.
  6. Provide them with advice on where they can find government or trusted support/help services or register with these agencies on their behalf.
Edited by Jenna Delport
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