ID Theft is Rampant among Seniors; Protect Your Identity Online

The Internet is a free-for-all of information, entertainment and access to immediate communication with friends and loved ones. Seniors who find themselves alone more than desired or who can’t get around like they used to are turning to the ‘Net for companionship and access to shopping.

However, it’s important to make sure that your identity is safe while you are having virtual coffee with your children 1,000 miles away or ordering medication online for delivery.

Mind these tips to keep your identity safe:

  1. Choose passwords that are memorable for you but would be difficult for others to figure out. Don’t choose the names of loved ones, part of your own address or anything that would make you an easy target for someone looking to guess your password. Also, as tempting as it might be to choose something like “password” or “123456,” don’t. Instead, keep a list of your passwords in a safe place. You can use a strong password generator program online to keep your identity extra safe.
  2. Don’t fall for scams! Hey, you’ve been around the block a few times. This isn’t your first rodeo, right? If it sounds too good to be true, trust your instincts. Never, give out your personal information including passwords, mother’s maiden name, social security number, etc. Scam artists are tricky. Rest assured, no one in Nigeria is looking to cut you in on a share of a king’s ransom. Delete!
  3. Everyone loves cookies, especially your computer. Many websites you visit collect information on you so they can cleverly welcome you back the next time you visit. Also, advertisers use the crumbs of information (known as cookies) you leave behind when you surf to market products to you. Therefore, clear your browser history every few weeks. True, you will have to re-enter passwords for frequently used websites. Use the opportunity to double down on your efforts to be secure; change your passwords.
  4. Sign out! It may be easier to stay logged into your favorite programs because that saves you time the next go ‘round. However, the time you’ll save not having to deal with identity left will far outweigh time saved having to log in again.

At Bratton Scott, we care about senior clients and work tirelessly to protect their interests. If you have questions about life care planning or estate documents, please call our conveniently located offices to speak with an eldercare attorney today.