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Tech-savvy seniors get online

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If you’re reading this, you’re fairly tech-savvy. But did you know that some older adults never go online? You may have a friend or family member who’s reluctant because they don’t think their information will be safe. They might feel better if you share some ways they can protect themselves online. Here are some tips to use and share.

  • Create strong passwords. Longer is stronger. Passwords can protect your accounts, like email or social media, and can also protect your devices. They keep your information and photos safe if your device ends up in someone else’s hands. Use different passwords for your devices than the passwords you have for online accounts.
  • Use only secure sites when shopping or banking online. Look for a “lock” symbol or “https” at the start of the website’s name. If you don’t see those, then don’t enter any personal or financial information. Also, don’t click on links in emails. Links may download malware, malicious software that can weaken your computer's security. Or they might direct you to scam sites.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access personal or financial information when you’re on-the-go. That means the library, coffee shop or airport are usually not the safest places to check your online banking or medical records.
  • On social media, adjust your privacy settings so you’re comfortable with who’s seeing your information. For example, you may want only “friends” or “followers” to see your posts. Also, it’s safest to avoid posting information like your phone number, full date of birth, address, or when you’re going out of town.

By sharing these tips, you can help others feel more confident about staying safe online. For more tips on online safety, visit and watch the FTC's video on computer security:



To disguise your activities online - such as when you go to your bank for online checking - hover the browser (mouse) over the bank's address and right click. You'll see a list of choices/ select "incognito" and follow the directions. Your bank may require you to enter a temporary password, which they'll email you. Be sure to select 'open another incognito window' to call up your email.

FTC.... I think you left a critical piece of information out of this report. Referring to the "Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access personal or financial information when you’re on-the-go. " above. I'm a senior and spend 3 to 5 months away from home in the winter time. I have 2 ways of dealing with paying my credit cards month after month: 1. use my Verizon phone as a hot spot to connect to the internet to log into financial accounts and pay bills, OR 2. use a public WiFi access.

In both cases above I have my laptop connected via a VPN application that gives complete encrypted security from me to the financial institution. I even use the VPN when using my Verizon hot spot. I think you should encourage everyone to get a VPN application and to get in the habit of using it all the time whether on the road or even at home.

Read our Tips for Using public Wi-Fi Networks. They explain what a virtual private network (VPN) is, and how to use one.

I would like, to think you for letting, me express what I, fill about this, it gets it off my chest.My wife does not unstained all this and it is making us both sick, thinking what we have to put up with to keep or secal Security and RRB , all not telling the truth.robert,

page and against my judgment, used that number. I takes me to the Welcome page and wants me to sign in with my old PW.. and I can't. The NEW ONE TIME PW no longer works. HELP! Thank you for any assistancw you can provide!

Clear out your computer caches... including, the cookies stored in your browser. Then quit your browser completely. Then start over- rebooting your browser. Where ever you're trying to get into won't know they just sent you a temporary password once you've removed the cookie. Then go to the website again, click on forgot my password on the signin page. They'll probably send an email to the acct's email address with another temporary password to get you in so you can reset your new password. Remember to use numbers, letters and punctuation in your passwords- also make some capital letters and some small. Make them so long you can't remember them--makes them harder to break through. Good luck.

A NOTE ON COOKIES: Cookies are placed on our computers by companies without our permission. Unless you have your browser set to only accept cookies from websites you visit, anyone form anywhere in the world can and will place cookies. I learned the hard way, when my computer began acting up. I discovered it was from a cookie someone I'd never heard of had placed on my computer. It's safest to set your browser preferences to no 3rd party cookies. Only accept from websites you go to. Even then, some will piggyback on those webites to set their cookies but you'll eliminate a lot of them. Cookies may contain information relevant to you but they also track and collect data about you. For the last few years I've made it a habit whenever I change projects, or websites, I clear all caches-- browser history & flash. I clean out all cookies. They can place a new cookie on your computer in a nano-second (?)- while the website is loading- so it's no big deal for the websites you visit regularly to reset one everytime you go there. Without the cookies, they can't follow you around the web, they can't continually collect data about you. Don't think just because your browser is set to "Do Not Track" it means anything. Most data collection companies ignore it and track you anyway. ( Read all the fine print on their Terms of Service ot Use of Website and their Privacy Policy) If you care about your privacy and security you have to make it as hard as you can for them to collect data about you. Once you know what to do and have done it a few times, you'll find it's not hard nor time consuming. I can do it all in under 1 minute.

Its amazing your the scammer sad that so many of you pretend to be law atty's yet you are the very people scamming familes retirement homes Public places Construction companies Banks and employee's Design Real Estate . They live beside you steal idenity
They blame others, they got drug into it. It's somewhat enjoyable to know that your firm can not up hold goverment polices.

All of the things mentioned will indeed help keep your information safe, however these older folks are absolutely correct. If they are never online their information is much safer than if they were online. In addition, who is going to constantly police these seniors from falling for the latest online scam or clicking on that link. My advice to these people is if you are satisfied with your life as it is, just stay offline.

FTC, Build us a browser that lets us control everything. Light Beam for Firefox was a start then it got broken by developers.

They're back. The Microsoft Tech Scammers. Do NOT press the windows (key with a flag) and the letter R. It will give them control of your computer. I tell them they are running a scam until the person hangs up. Calls have stopped.

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