GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - According to the latest numbers, there are more than 22 million internet users South Africa.
And, a growing proportion of these web surfers are older adults.
Unfortunately, due to their significant retirement savings and perceived lack of tech smarts, seniors are often targeted by internet scammers.
To properly protect yourself, we have put together a few important safety tips for South African seniors.
Reach out to Others for Help
Consider a trusted individual to serve as an extra set of eyes and ears if you spend a lot of time by yourself or live alone.
These days, teens learn about cybersecurity in the classroom, and they may be willing to offer some pointers.
If it seems awkward turning to youngsters for help, ask computer savvy adult relatives or friends for assistance.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association also provides a list of resources.
Use Your Computer’s Default Firewall Security Protection
The default firewall settings for your operating system will protect your computer without any need for adjustment.
Ensure you are protected safely without over-blocking programs and sites you regularly use by contacting a computer professional.
This is especially important if you have antivirus software that provides additional firewall protection.
In general, you do not want more than one antivirus program. Otherwise, each will see the other as harmful.
Customize the Safety Settings on Your Browser
You probably use Safari, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, or another internet browser to search for products, information, and news.
Adjust the settings to achieve your optimum security.
You can usually find the settings menu in the top right corner of the browser window.
You can avoid leaving a trail of sensitive data by clearing your browsing history once you finish your session.
If It Seems Fishy, It Might Be Phish
Scammers get access to personal information when you click on links in emails.
This is called “phishing,” and South Africa is the second most targeted country in the world for phishing attacks.
Therefore, even if you know the person who sent you an email, if an email looks unusual, delete it.
Scammers can take over your friends’ email accounts and send you messages. Remove suspicious messages by using spam filters in your email account.
Access Your Accounts Securely
Add a second layer of protection to your accounts with two-step authentication.
Many websites, apps, and online services provide free methods to protect your info and make sure it is you who is actually trying to access your account.
For instance, after you enter your password correctly, you can have your bank text you a code that you also must enter to see your account.
Create Strong Passwords
A good rule of thumb is that if you can remember a password, it probably is not strong enough.
With today’s sophisticated technology, scammers can easily access your accounts if your password is not secure enough.
One smart solution is to use a password manager.
This is an app that creates, stores, and changes your passwords for you.
When you take the precautionary measures covered above, you will have a much more enjoyable online experience.
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