Internet safety tips for seniors

An online security expert shares easy ways to guard against cybersecurity scams and fraud

Shot of a happy mature woman using a tablet while relaxing in her lounge at home

Whether it’s scrolling Facebook, watching a concert on YouTube or emailing loved ones, if you’re like most seniors, you’re spending more time online and you want the latest Internet safety tips. Indeed, 88 percent of 65+ Canadians use the Internet daily and 65 percent own a smartphone, according to a recent poll. Yet only 19 percent are doing online shopping and many older seniors stick to email only, although they’d like to do more.

Why is Internet safety important?

“In Canada, 57 percent of Canadians experienced some sort of cybersecurity incident in 2018,” says Henry Truong, an expert with Best Buy Canada’s Digital Citizen program to empower older Canadians. “Seniors are really interested in learning more about technology, but they’re nervous and they want best practices to follow so they can stay safe.” Watch a recent webinar featuring Truong to learn how to keep your personal data secure online.

Online safety guidelines

You’ve probably heard about Internet safety courses for children and teens, but seniors are the most likely group to be targeted by financial scams. Follow the ABCs of online safety from Best Buy Canada:

Awareness: Learn how to recognize unsolicited, information-stealing phishing attempts, hacking attacks and financial scams that come via text, email and the Internet. Watch the webinar to know exactly what to look for.

Best Practices: Only do online shopping on well-known sites with the secure lock symbol in the browser, and use different passwords for different sites, says Truong. Other Internet safety tips for seniors? Slow down and don’t click on suspicious links, buttons or email attachments. Plus, never share personal information such as your bank passwords or social insurance number via email.

Current: Update your apps and computer regularly. Install anti-virus software and firewall protection on your devices to lower the likelihood of your personal data being stolen or your device being attacked by malware, as well. (Talk to your computer or mobile device provider, such as Bell, Rogers, Telus or Shaw, to see if your tablet or mobile package includes these protective services. Alternatively you can call Best Buy’s Geek Squad 24/7 at 1800-GEEKSQUAD to learn more about the services and protection packages available.)

Getting hands-on Internet assistance

At Amica, seniors at select residents learn digital skills and get tech support from our partnership with Best Buy Canada. One senior discovered how to FaceTime with her son each day, and another how to digitize her photo albums so her whole family has access to cherished photos online.

From online banking to telehealth appointments, digital literacy is no longer a nice to have, it’s a necessity, says Sarah Santaluce, Manager of Strategic Partnerships for Amica. “Seniors don't always have the confidence or knowledge to use technology to its fullest potential, so the partnership helps support our residents.”

Seniors and caregivers at home can use services like the Best Buy Canada’s Geek Squad, plus watch our webinar to get more Internet safety tips for seniors from Truong and Santaluce. Also, follow Amica Senior Lifestyles on Facebook to learn about other upcoming Webinars for Seniors. With sessions on the COVID-19 vaccine, getting more sleep and the healing benefits of music, Amica empowers you and your loved ones to stay engaged and informed.

Schedule a tour to learn more about inspiring lifestyles for seniors including exceptional dining, amenities, activities and flexible, personalized care.