Cyber Crimes

Cyber safety tips for Sr. Citizens

Make sure your computer has security software on it and also check that the auto-update feature is enabled to ensure that your computer has the latest security features.

Passwords need to be unique and strong – these passwords need to be made up of upper and lower case letters as well as numbers. Never reveal your password to anyone. Passwords are an excellent guarantee of safety and security online.

Post with caution on social networking sites. It is a good idea to also understand how privacy settings work on social networks.

Don’t automatically install a software because it is free – these types of software are generally riddled with spyware which can slow or crash your computer.

Attachments can contain a virus and the virus can be transmitted to your computer as soon as you open the attachment. Be wary of suspect attachments, even from people you may know. If an email or attachment seems suspicious, don’t open it. Online criminals often use e-mails to get personal information from you in order to steal your identity. Sometimes these emails will invite you to click a link which downloads malware to your computer.

Although online banking is very convenient for seniors, be sure to only enter information into security-enabled sites. Sites for instance which begin with https:// means that the data is encrypted in transit. Look out for this and don’t enter any bank details or credit card information into websites that start only with http://

Emotional abuse is as rife online as it is elsewhere. It is best not to satisfy the abuser with any kind of response.

Never trust a link sent to you by someone you don’t know. By clicking the link you may be taken to a site that may look like your bank or credit card company, but it is not. One thing a criminal can’t fake is the actual website address of a company or bank. Instead of clicking a link in an e-mail, search for the Web address using a search engine such as google to find the real one. Ask the company about the message you received, or call using the number listed on your statements. Mark the real site as a favorite in your browser so that one click brings you there safely every time.

Never trust an e-mail that asks for your personal or account information (called a phishing scam). These usually seem convincing (the shabby ones have spelling errors, but the high quality scams look impeccable). No bank or reputable company is going to send you an e-mail asking you to correct your information, validate your identity, re-enter your password, and so on.

The smarter scams often contain text, warning you against fraud. They do this because many people believe that an e-mail that warns them to be careful must be legitimate. That is not always true. This also extends to sites that claim they have protections in place for your privacy and security. Anybody can make these claims, but only certain sites protect you.

Never respond – or even open an e-mail with a deal that is too good to be true unless it is from a company that you know well and expect to get these kinds of offers from them. Scammers want you to react without taking time to think through, so their e-mails frequently sound urgent, such as:

o …“if we don’t hear by tomorrow your account will be closed” (and you’ll notice that the date of “tomorrow” never is listed).

o …”this offer won’t last, order now to ensure”…

Never believe that someone you don’t know is going to give you money.

Do not believe a person from another country who just needs you to “help transfer funds” and they need your bank account number to do so. Such scammers promise to give you a huge amount of money for helping them out. The result is an empty bank account.

If you never entered a lottery, you can't win the lottery. Such scams ask you to provide your information and bank account number so they can transfer your prize money. Don’t, the result will be an empty bank account.

Don’t believe a really rich, famous person just wants to help you out… and that the celebrity also mysteriously needs your address, phone number, bank account information to do so. The result will be an empty bank account.

Are you a senior citizen who is active on Social Media? Have you offlate become friends with individuals from other countries (whom you don’t know in real life) and these online friends have been really caring and emotionally supportive. Have you ever wondered how these online oversees ‘friends’ have suddenly come into your life and become your emotional support. Well, many a time, these ‘friends’ are fraudsters who are spinning on elaborate web of deceit around you. They will, on some pretext or the other, trick you and emotionally blackmail you to share your hard earned retirement money with them. Don’t fall for such elaborate frauds.Apply the real world caution that you have learned over the years to virtual space too.

Don’t fall prey to fraud calls regarding Insurance Bonus, New policy with better coverage, etc. where the returns/gains offered are much higher than industry norm. These fraud callers have an eye on your retirement funds and induce you by promising exceptional returns.