Internet Literacy for Senior Citizens to Protect Them from Cyber Frauds
With the rapid fast penetration of the internet among the Indian populace, senior citizens are also not untouched by the digital space and ease of shopping/transactions offered by the internet. Elders of your family being newbies to this world of webspace, become an easy target for scamsters to meet their obvious motives. And so there is a need for digital literacy for senior citizens too. Here are some tips for senior citizens to protect them from cyber fraud and phishing attacks.
Loneliness and social isolation of senior citizens also make them ideal prey for cybercriminals on the hunt.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) also stands by the above statement when it says that senior citizens are the most vulnerable beings towards any sort of crime or fraud.
The last published crime statistics by NCRB in 2020, revealed a total of 24,794 criminal cases against elderlies that are reported in 2020 alone and more than 81000 cases were found to be pending in courts.
Reasons behind senior citizens being a soft target for criminals are many, but if a few key points are to be looked upon then they are:
- The generation gap and their inability to keep up with the technological advancements.
- Isolation from the mainstream public thus less awareness about surrounding and patterns of prevalent cyber crimes.
- Sluggish defense mechanism, low analytical abilities and slower response rate.
Dos and Don'ts for Senior citizens to prevent cyber frauds while using the internet
- Educate them not to click risky links: No! If that company is hell-bent on awarding you its major portion of revenue that too, free of cost, you have to ask your elders not to give their details there. We are living in a time-zone where no one is gentle enough to offer you a cup of tea as a giveaway, someone offering millions of dollars or I-phones for free isn’t genuine in any given condition.
- Prefer a variety of passwords: Though it’s an easy practice, but having the same password across every social media, email and bank accounts is a terrible approach. Either you yourself do it on behalf of elders, who are technically not well versed or guide them to use different passwords for different accounts. This toughens the game for fraudsters.
- Keep a watch on who they are interacting with on internet: The loneliness of your elders created out of the generation gap makes them trust any random stranger on the internet who connects with them sweetly. There have been Incidents wherein senior adults fell easy prey to the cons of scammers on social media and provided them with their banks and personal life details.
- Educate them about government cyber security portals: When oldies are an easy target for scammers because of their technically laggard awareness, it’s your foremost responsibility to teach them to file a report on National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. Alternatively, you can also save Cyber Crime Reporting Helpline 155-260 on their cellphone and ask them to use it when in need.
- Install fraud prevention app on their smartphones: In today’s fast-moving age, you cannot remain 24/7 close to the elders of your family. When you are away from them and not assisting them in their web space activities, they become a soft target for cybercriminals.
It is always an advisable and wise move for you to install an online fraud protection app like FinLock on the smartphones of elderly in your family. The AI-powered app not only warns its users of suspicious links or websites but also detects and alerts in case of potential sim swap attempts and UPI frauds. And all this is backed up by Rs. 1 lakh cyber fraud insurance if any uncertainty happens.
Several adults look forward to learning about the internet and matching up with the technologically advanced youth which is of course a very positive thing to do. Your responsibility as a well-wisher is to ensure that they achieve their goals safely.