A growing number of seniors are shopping on the internet. According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of people age 65 and older are on the internet. Half of the 65 and over age group is also shopping online.
Drawn to the convenience, ease, speed and even safety of shopping online in the COVID-19 pandemic, they may also be flirting with danger if they’re not careful.
If you’re a senior and shopping online, follow these safety tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a cyber crime or identity theft.
—Have strong passwords. Not only do you need strong passwords, but guard them closely. Use different passwords and avoid easy passwords such as “password” or “12345678.” Use a notebook to track your passwords and include symbols, capital letters, and numbers when you make your passwords. Be sure to change them up as well. Two-factor authentication in which you get a text with a code to enter online is another safety element. Don’t feel like using strong passwords is a hassle because your financial security and online safety is irreplaceable.
—Make sure you’re on the right website. This is all about knowing where you are. Check the website address, also known as the URL, in the web browser. If you’re shopping online at Target, it should read: https://www.target.com. If that’s not what you see, you’re on a different website. Close your browser any time you don’t think you’re on the correct website.
—Use a credit card for online shopping. A credit card is your safest option to pay for items you buy online. If someone happens to steal your information, the credit card company won’t hold you responsible for any charges you didn’t make. It’s better for you to use a credit card than a debit card because a thief could drain the account linked to your debit card before you even know they have your information. Other options are apps such as PayPal.
—Don’t pay attention to spam emails or texts. Online thieves may try to trick you by sending you an email or a text from a shipping company purporting to have lost your package, or asking you give personal information, or pay to claim your package. This is not how they operate. If you don’t recognize who sending you the email or text, ignore it. Never click on any links in the text or email. You could expose yourself to a fraud and have money and personal information stolen by thieves.
—Know the return policy on your online purchase. The safer purchases are ones in which you buy items online from companies that have good return policies. For example, having a 30-day window to return your item if it’s not something you want to keep.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Auburn Hill Senior Living are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Auburn Hill Senior Living, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!