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Internet Safety Tips to Teach Your Parents

Each year, a list of the most common passwords comes out. Despite yearly warnings, many people continue to use these passwords. Do your parents make that mistake? What other internet safety tips do they ignore or need help understanding?

Help your parents continue to use the internet for research, banking, shopping, and socialization. But, make sure they're prioritizing their safety when they're online.

Choose Tough Passwords

Each year, ID Agent monitors the passwords that top the list of stolen passwords found on the dark web. For 2020, the list of passwords included the standards like 123456, password, and Qwerty123. It also included passwords like sunshine, lemonfish, and :12345678secret.

Instead of choosing an easy password like these, your parents need to pick a more challenging one. Using a phrase that turns letters into symbols and numbers helps. Make sure there's a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.

Your mom's favorite food is chocolate chip cookies. Using the rules of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols, her favorite food could become something like Ch0c0!4teCh1pC00k1e$.

Make sure your parents use a different password for each site. They may need your help getting a password manager to keep track of them. Many computer security suites have password managers as part of the security software. If they don't want to use a computer program, keep a notebook in their safe that has all of their passwords.

Don't Click Any Links in an Email

Make sure your parents know they cannot trust links sent via email. The risk of the link stealing log-in credentials or having malware is an issue. Even if the email looks official, it may be a scam.

Say they get an email from their credit card company that their account is frozen until they log in and unlock it. Instead of clicking the link in the email, they need to load their bank's website or app on their own, log in, and see if there are messages in their inbox. If not, they can reach out to customer service to see if there are problems. If it was a scam, they need to report it.

Never Send Money to Strangers

Some scammers use social media to try to get money. Your parents need to refuse to give any details or send money to someone online. The scams can seem quite convincing.

There have been cases of people posing as IT professionals from companies like Microsoft saying they need payment to remove viruses their system found coming from your parents' computer. Don't let them fall for scams like those.

If you're not close enough to work with your parents on internet safety, make sure they have support. With home care aides, your parents have help with things like housework and laundry, but they also have caregivers in the home to ask for help using the computer. Call a home care agency to arrange services.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Jacksonville, FL, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (904) 342-6040