Smartphones can help your elderly relatives stay in touch in a variety of ways, from connecting them with their grandchildren to providing them with a GPS to locate friends’ homes. However, in this day and age of sly text message scams and online identity theft, there are a number of reasons why your elderly loved ones may be hesitant to move from their reliable landline to a phone that needs a mobile data plan. For older adults who are wary of the internet, a senior-friendly flip phone, such as those offered by Lively Direct, may simplify call and text contact without the bells and whistles that older smartphone users can find intimidating.
However, just because smartphones can be intimidating to older users does not mean they must be. If elderly adults choose to keep up with the latest cellphone technology, they should take a variety of precautions, from selecting a safe password to deleting suspicious text messages. Continue reading for five safety tips that can help the seniors in your life make informed mobile decisions.
Lock it with a password.
One of the first things you can do to help a senior in your life keep their mobile safe is to use a good password. Choose a password that contains letters, numbers, and characters, and avoid using birthdays or pet names. Making a high entry barrier for your loved one to access their computer will help protect their data.
Before responding to text messages, take a look at them.
Although everybody would love to receive a text message informing them that they have won an all-inclusive Caribbean cruise, such messages are almost always scams. Mention notifications advertising sweepstakes prizes as one of several texts to leave on read while assisting your elderly relative with smartphone protection. Your elderly relative would be safer online if he or she does not respond to any text messages from an unknown number.
Apps should be used with caution.
There is an app for almost everything, from your favourite game to guided meditation. However, just because your elderly relatives have the ability to download an app for one of their hobbies does not mean they do. Assist the older adults in your life in learning to verify the validity of an app before uploading medical records or other sensitive information.
Feature called “find my phone” can save you
Before your loved one’s phone leaves their hand, make sure they download a “find my phone” app. That way, if Grandma’s phone ever goes missing, you’ll be able to track it down and protect her personal information.
Public Wi-Fi should be avoided at all costs.
While using free coffee shop internet to keep up with the news without using up your mobile data plan is convenient, viewing private information on public Wi-Fi exposes your passwords and account information to scammers. Before taking their smartphones out on the town, talk to your elderly relatives about accessing confidential details like bank accounts on public Wi-Fi.
Finally, some thoughts
In this age of catfishing and other types of internet fraud, the elderly in your life might be hesitant to give up their trusty landline in favour of their first smartphone.There are a variety of ways seniors can make the smartphone switch secure, from being vigilant with coffee shop Wi-Fi to allowing a “find your phone” feature