Technology helps families stay connected when they live hours from each other. Your parent can connect with grandchildren through video chats. They can view photos and read recent news.
While technology is great for online socialization, there are also downsides like scams and computer viruses. How do you make sure your mom or dad stay safe when they're online.
Teach Your Mom and Dad to Use Internet Security Software
Make sure your parents have a security package installed on all computers in the house. Teach them how to run scans, update the virus definitions, and make sure their software is up-to-date.
The best security package will scan and protect from viruses, malware, spyware, and adware. They can also look for pop-up blockers to keep inappropriate ads from appearing on their computer.
Verify Privacy Settings on All Social Media Sites
If your mom and dad use sites like Facebook, check over the privacy settings. Don't let them receive friend requests from strangers. Limit advertising avenues. Set up posts so that they only appear to friends and not the public.
Someone should go over privacy settings each month to make sure nothing has changed. If you live miles away, get your parents' password and go through settings for them. Check the friends' list to make sure no strangers have been added.
Show Them How to Turn Off the Camera
Laptops and some desktops have cameras. There are people who will hack into a camera. There have been cases where hackers take video or pictures of people undressing. If you're not sure your parent can remember how to turn on and off the camera, take a small sticky note and put it over the camera lens.
Make Sure They Know Never to Download Programs or Click on Links Sent in Emails or Messages
Before your parent opens any link in an email or message, make sure they know the person did, in fact, send it. Scammers can mimic someone's email address and use it to pass around viruses. The same is true of messages that have an attachment.
One common scam is to send a photo that appeals to a person. Something like “You Must See These Photos” may pique your mom's interest enough to click the download. It's a way for Trojans and malware to easily be spread.
Don't allow internet access to be the only way your parent socializes. They need to spend time with people, too. If their circle of friends is limited after retirement, caregivers are a good solution. Your mom and dad can join a caregiver for games, chat, and outings. Call a senior care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Mesa, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.