OK – Maybe this is a little safer!

Safe Surfing for Seniors
Bob Spohn, Frasier Meadows IT, April 8, 2014
OK – Maybe this is a little safer!
Keep calm and use common
sense – everything will be OK!
There are 3 main components
of safe internet surfing:
Protect your computer
2) Protect your identity
3) Protect yourself
Protect Your Computer
Use an anti-virus program
Your Comcast account comes with free
anti-virus software called Constant Guard,
but it is not automatically installed. You
will need to install it
There are also good free and low-cost
programs available
Free Anti-virus software:
 Avast
 Bitdefender
Purchased Software
Provides additional features
 Norton
 McAfee
 Kaspersky
 Webroot
 Free
software also has paid
Clean up after yourself!
Every web page you visit and
every picture on those pages stay
on your PC until you delete them
• These “cookies” and temporary
internet files build up over time
and can slow down your PC
• Set up your web browser to clean
these automatically
Web Browsers
These are the programs you use to
connect to the internet. The most
popular are:
Internet Explorer
Mozilla Firefox
Google chrome – PC and Mac
Safari – PC and Mac
Each browser has its own
personality: how it looks,
the menus, etc. The best
one is the one that works
well for you!
Protect your identity
Every time you visit the
internet, there is the
potential for software
attacks against your PC
and the accounts you are
logged into.
There are many good free e-mail
programs available:
• Most of you probably use
• Gmail (from Google)
• Yahoo mail (from Yahoo)
Always use a strong password
Never use any part of your name
Don’t use birthdate or address or
other easy to guess numbers
Use a combination of Upper Case
and lower case letters, numbers and
special characters
Try to make it at least 8 characters
Change it periodically
Wow – look at these great e-mails!
I just won the Irish lottery!
My grandson is stranded in Budapest
and needs money!
My good friend sent me an email
telling me I need to click on this link,
even though it looks odd…
What could possibly go wrong – let’s
read these!!!...
Are you kidding???
Don’t Open Them!!!
These are spams and scams
Someone got your e-mail address from
another infected computer
 Clicking on links and opening suspect
e-mails is inviting hackers into your
 Delete all questionable e-mails
 If it was legitimate, they’ll write back!
OK – enough gloom and doom –
Let’s go shopping!
What could possibly go wrong?
This web site sells green rubber
boats, and I have my credit card!
Hold on there, Moneybags!
Is Your Shopping Site Secure?
We have all heard on the news
about web sites getting hacked
and customer info getting stolen.
There is no 100% guarantee that
this will not happen to you, but
with some awareness, you can
minimize your risks…
Reputable sites will indicate that they
are secure and protected.
The site address will start with: https
The ‘s’ at the end means ‘secure’
There will also be a ‘padlock’ image
Here is an example from Amazon.com:
You will need to create an account with the
vendor you want to shop with; in this case
Amazon. When you place an order, you will
need your login name and password. To
repeat from earlier, a complex, hard to
guess password will always work in your
Here is the Amazon login. Note the mention
of the secure server. All sites must have a
privacy notice, and some have terms of
use. Dry reading, but informative!
Protect Yourself
Online, that is!
Social Media
Online programs that let
you interact with others:
Use common sense and sound
judgment when using these sites
Remember when we learned to drive,
that we were taught to “Drive
defensively – watch out for the other
The same is true when using the
ALWAYS assume that any information
you share and post on these sites is
publically accessible, unless you are
positive that you have set your
privacy options correctly.
The burden falls on you to make sure
your online information is private.
This is the 1st part of Twitter’s
privacy statement:
Twitter Privacy Policy
Twitter instantly connects people
everywhere to what’s most meaningful to
them. Any registered user can send a
Tweet, which is a message of 140
characters or less that is public by default
and can include other content like photos,
videos, and links to other websites.
 Tip: What you say on Twitter may be
viewed all around the world instantly.
And here is Facebook’s:
When you sign up for Facebook, you are
required to provide information such as your
name, email address, birthday, and gender.
In some cases, you may be able to register
using other information, like your telephone
Information you choose to share:
Your information also includes the
information you choose to share on
Facebook, such as when you post a status
update, upload a photo, or comment on a
friend's story.
Bottom line for social media:
Do you really need it?
• Set up tight security – give the
minimum info possible to allow
you to create your account
• Never share personal info
Online Harassment
Unfortunately, there are people that
monitor social media websites for the
sole purpose of harassment.
They will send messages intended to
provoke, frighten, disgust or anger you.
Clearly, by no means should you
respond to these messages.
What can you do?
There are laws against this abuse
Print or write down the offending
message, including the sender’s user
Call the police
Call the site it came from
As a last resort, delete your account
and create a new one with a different
Phone calls
This one is important!
We regularly get reports about scam
phone calls received by the residents.
The caller will say they are calling to
repair/update/check your PC. If you
didn’t call them, hang up immediately.
This is a simple scam for the caller:
They may just ask for your personal
info, including your social security #
They may have you turn on your PC
and go to a web site they give you.
This will allow them to “remote
control” your PC, and get access to
its information, including your e-mail
address book, and personal files
Hang up, and inform the front desk
The IT staff is available to assist you
on a time-available basis.
When you contact us, we will set up a
time to meet with you.
We will never ask for, nor do we need,
any of your personal information
when we work on your equipment! If
needed, we will have you enter your
password yourself.
All clear?
Any Questions?
Selected references you may enjoy
Majority of Seniors Online – But Are They Practicing Safe
Surfing & Social?
Safe surfing for seniors or watch out for Internet scams
Practical Guide: Teaching Seniors How to Surf the Web Safely
• Using the Internet Safely For Seniors For Dummies
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