Seniors and Online Information Exposure

Elderly individuals usually easily buy into a few myths about online information exposure. These myths can be thought provoking, and may lead seniors to wrong beliefs and even greater risks from opportunistic individuals online.

The first myth is that, when one doesn’t use computer, he/she is simply not exposed online. The truth of the matter is, in this computer-aided world, virtually each one of us has information online placed by several resources. Just because we didn’t put any information about ourselves and personal life doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Some examples of these information are from publicly available government records that shows your address, criminal records (even speeding and parking tickets), etc.

City homes are listed online and can be found through internet mapping services.

Also, unless you’ve been very careful to ensure that you didn’t share your phone number in any public documents, it will be posted online (though not many people can see it easily its posted for the use of government agencies).

There are simply endless ways that your name and personal information can be posted online. Chances are, you can even be “searched” online, like most of us.

The second myth is about Internet scams, and believe it or not, many people think that simply because they haven’t fallen for these scams, they can’t be fooled and fall victim of any form of internet crimes. Internet scams come in endless shapes and sizes, and if you’re not careful, you will never know what hit you. One good example is that, online criminals can dig for your online information and use it for their advantage; either steal your identity or use it in different ways to rob you, your family, or friends.

The third myth is about posting online information can be deleted. Well, you can delete those things that you posted, but once they are resourced and copied, deleting them will be simply impossible, as they’re out of your reach anymore. Thus, reduce your personal exposure by keeping the information you post about yourself at minimum.

How To Deal With Your Child’s Online Bullies

If you suspect your kid is being bullied online, it’s important that you speak to your child early. Bullying can be very devastating for children, countless of studies showed the negative effects of being bullied, which many children have never overcome even when they grew up. Thus, before things go out of hand, you need to do something. Here are some tips to deal with your kid’s cyber bullies.

Contact The Bully’s Parents Or Guardians
Find ways to talk straight to the bully’s parents, and talk to them about the problem. However, you should be careful when you decide to do this, as it can backfire and make the bullying even worse.

Call Your School Officials
Most often than not, cyberbullies are bullies of your child at school. Thus, make school officials aware of the problem and ask them to look for signs of bullying at school. They may have some strategies or even formal programs to handle school bullying especially the school counselor and the principal. Bullying at school should not be tolerated, and the school officials should be the first ones to stop them.

If Bully’s Behavior Persist, File A Formal Complaint
There are many internet service providers that can help you protect your child against online bullies and harassments. Facebook in particular, allows you to report offensive and malicious content people post that may affect you or your child.

Cyber-bullying is one of the most common online danger kids in this generation may face. As a parent, it is your job to look over them, even in the internet, and establish a good communication line between you and your child.

Being Too Trusting, Making Seniors More Susceptible To Risks Online

The internet, which is a great place for practically anything you can think of, is also a place where opportunistic individuals lurk, ready to attack. And the thing about senior web users is that, they are more likely exploring the web with naively and wrong trust.

Sure we have developed some kind of a skill in judging people’s character when we meet them face to face, however, we, especially the seniors have little or no idea of assessing the character of the people, groups, and companies we meet online. This is basically the problem of being too trusting, which is why millions of elderly people fall victim to scams and online crimes.

In the internet, unless you know for sure with whom you’re dealing with, you should always be cautious and assume that you could’ve got into a ‘look-a-like’ site that tries to victimize unsuspecting and inexperience web surfers.

Because there are no physical attributes and clues on the web, anyone can portray themselves to be someone, and anyone can make a website that looks legit and official, the same ways as other sites, for very little money. These online criminal can scam the search engines to make themselves look reputable. Obviously, you can’t fake a bank or a physical store that is not there, so you never have to worry about whether the bank or the store is real. But websites are really easy to make, anybody can make any site look believable using good content from other sites, which means that sometimes, the fake ones can be really hard to identify. No matter how old you are.

With this, it is important to supervise seniors while they surf the web and tell them to be more cautious with the people they talk to and sites they visit. If they feel suspicious, then tell them to log out.

Keeping Your Kids Safe In Facebook and Social Networking Sites

Social networking sites, particularly Facebook, are gaining popularity among teens, which could be a place for online bullying. Here are sore tip-top tips to get parents up to date with their kid’s social networking activities.

Talk To Your Child About It
Don’t wait for your kids to bring up the subject, chances are, he or she already know about social media sites.

Get Internet Savvy
Many parents have already hard about social media, particularly as Facebook and Twitter, but most of them don’t have any idea what they are. These social media sites aren’t complicated at all. Sure there will be some learning curve, but there are tons of resources online to get started. Also, you can explore these sites by making your own account and spend some time learning the navigation and basics.

Check out the Rules and Guidelines for Each Site
Before help your child setup accounts in social media, you need to make sure you read the privacy and security guidelines of the website and agree on it. Make sure it doesn’t violate the rights of your child, especially on security, and know the hotlines of the site where you can seek for help or report other malicious users that tries to take advantage of your child.

Also, when setting up accounts in Facebook, make sure your child don’t reveal personal information about himself and the family; phone numbers, school address and home address should never be put in Facebook.

Embrace the benefits of social media to your child, it allows them to connect to other people with common interest, meet friends and socialize. The key to keep them safe is to establish a good communication line with your kids. Make them feel comfortable to talk to you whenever they encounter problems in social media.

3 Tips For Seniors To Avoid Online Scams

Be careful in emails that asks for your personal information
Be careful in mails in your inbox that asks for your personal information and account information. This scam is called the “phishing scam,” where opportunistic online criminals bait your for freebies in exchange for your personal and account information. The common ones are those that ask to correct your personal information in their database. No reputable bank or company will do such thing through email.

Never trust links sent by random names you don’t know
These links may be bait to get a hold of your personal information, account information, corrupt your computer with virus or malwares, etc. One thing online criminals can’t fake are the website address of a bank or company it portrays. Instead of clicking the link from bogus and suspicious emails, search the web addressing using the search engine and find out the real one. Ask the company (the email sender said he/she comes from) about the email through phone or email.

Never open or respond to emails that sounds too good to be true
This is one of the most common scams online, you can even easily see these scams in the form of clickable ads in various sites you visit. You can easily spot these types of emails, ones that say you won something. Well, if you haven’t join anything, raffles, contests, etc., how in earth is someone willing to give you a prize? Never believe that someone out there, that you don’t even know, will give you money or free stuff, especially in exchange for your personal information.