How to protect elderly from Cyber Attacks?

US President-Elect Donald Trump has recently given his perspective on Cyber Attacks saying no computer on earth is safe from cyber threats. And that’s true when we take the technical terms into account.

As per a survey conducted by Deloitte Consultancy Firm last year, the penchant to become ‘Smart Nation’ is pushing governments to make its populace rely on web related sources for their day to day activities.
Although, it’s true that technology plays an increasingly central role in everyday life, it is also exposing individuals inevitably face greater exposure to cyber attacks.

According to a study made in 2012 by Stanford Center on Longevity and the United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation, elderly people are more likely being targeted by fraudsters. The survey concludes that those over 65 are 35% more prone to money loss on a financial scam than others below the 30s.

Ironically, in order to keep in touch with family, coupled with more leisure time and the governments’ pressure to make currency transactions more transparent; elderly are getting more exposed to cyber frauds.

It turns out that elderly people residing all over the globe are quite alike in the kind of cyber crimes they fall prey to.

Hence, here are some safety standards which are specifically formulated for the elderly folk using web services. Hope, it helps them in isolating themselves from the prevailing cyber threats.

1.) Elderly folk instantly believe schemes in which cyber crooks claim to be government officials. They target old age people to steal personal information, usually in the form of emails and calls. Then they make the victim visit a website and furnish critical details like social security numbers, bank info, contact details and such. So, all you old folks out there be very careful while engaging in such activities. If you suspect something fishy, then just abandon that activity and contact the government agency or bank on a direct note. Make sure you are in contact with the right person and disclose your experience on the latest cyber heist. Most banks, financial institutions and government officials have already set up special cells to deal with such cases. Just pass on the info to them and let them know your experience with the fraudster. They will take care of the rest.

2.) With changing social dynamics, elderly folk is left with no option than to live alone. And it’s now a fact proven in the survey that people in their 50s cannot resist cyber romance. But sweetheart scams targeting elderly become a menace to deal with the security agencies. These criminals often target victims who are alone and try to exploit them financially. Especially, people who have gone through divorces or spouse death are said to be prime victims of such scams. In such cases, often scammers win the trust of the victim and then persuade them to take the conversation off-line. Remember, this could spell a doom for you in near future. For this reason, most of the legal online dating sites have set up safeguards for their customers- irrespective of their age. They never encourage their customers to share bank details or house addresses on their platform on a public note.

3.) Work from home opportunities often lures seniors as it earns them a living and helps pay for their medical expenses. Unfortunately, most of such job offers are now being posted by scammers. In recent times, they are a number of reports where elderly folk paid a huge one-time fee to set up their own online businesses which usually don’t materialize.

Eventually such scams not only affect their wallets but can also break them emotionally. And if the victim faces criminal charges things just go out control. So, all you seniors beware of such scams and stay cautious. NOTE- Online Pharmacy scams have evolved as major threats on this note.

Best Recommend from Cyber Security Insiders- Always ask your bank to insist on 2-factor authentication for all your financial transactions. Means, if you shop online or pay your bills, ask your bank to send you a one-time-password (OTP) to validate your transaction.

And to all the younger generation out there, education and empowering elderly to stay safe in cyberspace, spreading the awareness among them is the only tool to deal with the situation.

So, all you geeks out there, start from your own home or neighborhood and spread the cyber crime awareness among the elders to the most.

Help them as much as you can….remember, we have to age someday for sure!

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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