Seniors are embracing the internet but they need to be aware of the importance of privacy.
Seniors are embracing the internet but they need to be aware of the importance of privacy. Luka Kauzlaric

Top tips to keep seniors safe online

ALTHOUGH it is heartening to see so many seniors embrace the internet, many do not understand the importance of privacy. Recent research shows that private identities can be exposed and personal details, including which medications you use, are up for grabs.

Some users can be easily identified by leaving a trail online, such as their Twitter username on some analytics page; for others, analyzing 10 of their visited URLs can be enough to determine their identity.

"If Internet users do not use any security tools, such as VPNs, they should realize that when they go online, nothing they do on the internet will remain private," Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN said.

"Nobody can know when their private browsing history may be exposed and for what reason. That can seriously hurt their personal lives, their careers and even their physical safety.

THE number of seniors using social media increases every day and while most know they should never share their home address, current location or phone number on Facebook, many still share holiday photos or social plans.

Each time a social media user announces they are in on holiday with the family, it's a signal that their home is empty. Or when a user says they are leaving town, there might be a wide audience reading that. Even though people express serious privacy concerns, they still tend to reveal their personal details online.


Here is some advice by NordVPN how to still enjoy sharing on social media, but staying safe and private:

1. Wait until you get home to post your travel pictures. Those who really need to share their photos, should at least wait till they are back home, and their home is not empty anymore.

2. Make sure social media setting are private. One of the most important things before sharing is to make sure the settings are set on private sharing with friends, or a select group of friends, and your photos are not visible to everyone.

3. Realise that everything you post online, will stay online. Don't post anything now you might regret later.

4. Never share personal data on Facebook. Do not enter your address or phone number on Facebook where it can be visible to anyone. Do not create status updates sharing vulnerable information.

5. Don't overshare feelings. According to one study, people who share their feelings on social media often get bullied, while others look on and allow harassment to happen. It's more advisable to share personal feelings in close and friendly circles than publicly.Y

6. Protect your location. Don't show your actual location by using a VPN. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that hides your IP address and your location. By connecting to another country's server, you can set your location to virtually any place in the world.

7. Understand the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Cafes, shops offer unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Be especially cautious when connecting to these networks as they can easily be monitored. Hackers can easily position themselves as a Wi-Fi hotspot or use special software to steal data from unprotected networks.

In the age of digital oversharing, it's still possible to make sure your friends see your holiday photos - but it's important to be careful with privacy and to follow strict social media rules.

NordVPN is a Virtual Private Network provider that helps protect online privacy by hiding an Internet user's IP address and substituting it with NordVPN's server's IP address in any country of choice.

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