Due to the continued rise of ever-evolving technologies, there has been an increase in the popularity of online scams, fraudulent companies, and hackers. Many scammers frequently target older adults because they are likely believed to have more finances than most, be limited in their tech-savvy knowledge, and are more open to trusting strangers than other age groups.

Knowing the difference between a suspicious link and a trusted one, or whether a company is legitimate or not is not always easy. Many times, scammers and fraudulent companies attempt to mask the fact that they are not following the law by using official logos that embody a sense of trust.

McClellan Senior Living wants to educate our residents and guests about the dangers of online scams. We’re sharing four tips that will help you and your loved ones avoid being scammed online!

Don’t Trust Suspicious Links

Contrary to popular belief, many links on the internet have ill intentions that can pose a threat to your security or the health of your device. Once a suspicious link is clicked, there are a series of things that can happen. You may be directed to a page that seems legitimate but is only a copy that mimics the original. On these sites, users believe they are merely logging into their online banking or their Facebook account, but they are entering their information into a system that records their username and password.

Remember to double-check any URLs that you aren’t sure of, and if you don’t know where the link goes, don’t click it!

Protect Personal Information

As digital transactions become more popular and companies continue to request personal information from consumers, the risk that you may be targeted for an online scam is significantly increased. The more often your personal information is shared over the internet, the more likely you are to be an appealing target for hackers, scammers, and fraudulent companies.

Remember to only share personal information with companies and people you trust. You should never have to enter a social security number to make a regular purchase or transaction online, so avoid using your social security number unless it’s necessary.

Create Strong Passwords

Although passwords can be hard to keep track of, it is essential that you create a strong password rather than entering something easy to remember. The purpose of a strong password is to prevent and deter people from attempting to either guess or steal your password. If your password is only your name and birth year, it is going to be much easier to guess than a password that is much more complex.

When creating passwords, it is recommended that you include letters, numbers, and symbols if possible. Make sure to include upper-case and lower-case letters to increase the strength of the password. Finally, it is essential to avoid using common phrases, dates, names, or other terminology that someone could learn about you in a few minutes. Get creative and come up with an uncrackable password!

Shop Carefully

When shopping on the internet, it’s easy to forget about the dangers of online purchases. You may be accustomed to purchasing goods from Amazon or other reputable companies because it is widely known that they are legitimate. Some businesses, however, are not anywhere near as renowned as some of these more massive conglomerates and can be misleading at times. As previously mentioned, it is not difficult for someone to create a fake shopping website that is intended to steal your credit card information.

To avoid risking a financial crisis, it’s best to stick to the companies you trust and avoid shopping on any websites you haven’t seen before. If you’re able to purchase the item at a location, rather than on a website, you can reduce the risk that your financial information will be stolen. Alternatively, if you absolutely must buy something from a site that doesn’t look trustworthy, make sure to use a card that is prepaid, so scammers don’t have access to your real credit card information.

As scammers become more intricate and challenging to catch, the methods that they employ can be increasingly hard to recognize. Remember to never trust anything that you’re skeptical about and avoid releasing your personal information as much as possible.

McClellan Senior Living is dedicated to improving the lives of seniors and being a useful resource to the community. If you would like to learn more about our community and the services we offer, please visit our website!

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