These days, you’re much more likely to give out your personal information—like your full name, date of birth, address or even credit card number—in exchange for goods and services online. If you’ve created a Facebook account, downloaded a free app or purchased an item on Amazon, you’ve divulged some of your personal information online. But don’t worry! There are some precautions you can take to help ensure that your information is kept safe from data hackers.
- Create Strong Passwords: Whenever you create a new account with a new website or service, be sure to create unique passwords for each. A strong password is at least 12 characters long and contains a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and symbols. If you keep a list of your passwords, make sure that it stays secure and separate from where you log in.
- Look Out for Scams: Emails and text messages that require you to take urgent action regarding your bank account or taxes are likely scams and should be ignored or reported as spam. If you’re unsure, reach out to the company directly by looking up their contact information through a second source, such as Google.
- Increase Your Spam Filter: Go to your email settings and increase the filter level to catch spam if you’re receiving too many suspicious emails. Even if a message looks like it’s from a trusted source or friend, don’t open the message or attachments and delete it just in case. You can always contact the company or individual in person if necessary.
- Share with Care: Be hyper-aware of the information you share publicly on social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram. Adjust your privacy settings so only trusted friends and family can see what you post. You can even go so far as hiding your birthday from public view.
- Security Software: It’s a good idea to invest in anti-virus and anti-spyware software from a reliable source. Once you’ve installed the software, it’s even more important to keep the software updated to catch any new viruses that may have been created since the last update. Be wary of any security updates from suspicious pop-up ads or emails as well.
- Manage Browser Safety Settings: To access the internet from your computer, you probably use one of the most popular web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge. On each of these browsers, you should go to the settings menu and select the optimum security options. You may even be inclined to clear your browsing history and cookies after each session if you want to be extremely vigilant about your security.
- Log Out: Remember to log out of any websites or apps when done using them, especially online banking or shopping apps that have sensitive financial information.
Staying safe and secure is something Henry Ford Village knows plenty about, being a gated community with 24-hour security. And, we know that digital security is just as important!
Learn more about how the residents at Henry Ford Village feel about safety and security.
Source: Protect Seniors Online