How Will You Keep Your Parents Safe from Cyber Attacks and Hackers?

So many of us are in what is called the Sandwich Generation. Shuttling between soccer games, ballet recitals, and having the added responsibility of taking care of aging parents. One thing that has become of greater concern over the last few years is protecting our parents form Cyber Threats.

In our office, we have always had computer viruses come in but what has changed in recent years is the targeted attacks being aimed directly at the elderly. They are being victimized and are paying a big financial price.

5 Ways You Can Protect Your Parents from Cyber Threats

1. Gone Phishing. Have a conversation with your parents about what Email Phishing is. Email phishing is when scammers send an email posing as a well-known company. They are trying to get you to click on the link and enter your account information. Don’t do it. You can always call the company directly from your statements, or close the email and go to the company site directly via your browser. Another way you can check these emails is to hover your mouse (don’t click) on the link to see the real destination.

2. Email Security. Talk to your parents about good email habits. Talk to them about anti-virus software, not clicking on attachments they were not expecting, and calling to confirm anything that might be suspicious.

3. Internet Safety. Talk to your parents about Internet Security in general. Talk to them about how you identify whether a site is secure or not, and not downloading programs.


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4. Be Careful Out There. Many of the same principles that our parents taught us growing us are applicable here. Have your guard up with people who you don’t know, don’t enter personal information in web forms.

5. Offense is the Best Defense. Find a local tech company that you trust. Make sure your parents know who they are and to call them with any questions before they are being targeted.

The sad truth is that Elder Financial Abuse is on the rise. When it comes to computer scams telemarketing is big for targeting seniors. They are really honing in on those over 60, especially women in this category that live alone. They are targeted because they are more likely to have a nest egg, are more polite and trusting, and less likely to report when they are victimized. Scammers use scare tactics. At the initial contact, they try to scare the victim into opening a remote session with them. Some victims we have talked to have paid as much as $4000 to cyber criminals. Many times viruses or remote monitoring software has been uploaded enabling them to be victimized over and over.

Open the lines of communication with your parents about computers and cyber threats. Our parents don’t always want to accept help from us. They want to do things on their own as they always have. Who doesn’t? A little advanced planning will help your parents be less likely to be scammed in the future. An ounce of prevention can save you both a lot of time and heartache later.

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Featured image – Freepik