<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1660977404188157&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Support the Kendal at Home Mission. Donate
May 09, 2024

12 Online Safety and Technology Tips for Seniors

A survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report on 2000 adults aged 55 and older revealed that 55% of seniors believe using assistive or health-related technologies and smart devices from home provides a sense of independence [1].


While the benefits of technology are amazing, it can also come with financial losses and other negative effects when used wrongly. 

For example, the FBI reported that scams targeting seniors caused over $3.4 billion in losses in 2023, an increase of approximately 11% from the previous year [2].


So, how do you use technology the right way?


9 Tips to Help Seniors Use Technology More Easily

How technology affects the world today is enormously different from many years ago and in a highly positive way. Senior living is one of the areas of life benefiting from the advancement in technology. To enjoy these benefits, it's crucial to use tech tools more efficiently.


  1. Start with user-friendly devices that are designed with simplicity in mind. Try smartphones with larger buttons and intuitive interfaces or tablets with touchscreens.
  3. Take it one step at a time. It's best to start with one device or application at a time. Focus on learning the basics before moving on to more advanced features.
  5. Leverage resources to learn how to use your device effectively. Look for tutorials on platforms like YouTube that provide step-by-step instructions for specific tasks.
  7. Ask family and friends for help if they're familiar with technology. They can explain how things work, provide guidance, or troubleshoot issues that may arise.
  9. Use built-in accessibility features to help you with vision, hearing, or motor impairments.
  11. Use voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa if you have difficulty typing or navigating through menus.
  13. Customize settings to suit your needs. You can adjust the font size, display brightness, or notification settings to make it more comfortable for you to use.
  15. Practice regularly. Like any skill, using technology gets easier with practice. Set aside regular time to explore and experiment with your device or application.
  17. Stay patient and positive throughout the process. Remember that everyone learns at their own pace, and with time and practice, you'll become more proficient.

It's never too late to start learning. Embracing technology can open up new opportunities for communication, entertainment, and staying connected with loved ones.


Online Safety and Technology Tips for Seniors

As technology advances, you must stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect yourself online. The tips below will help you stay safe while using technology:


1. Use strong and unique passwords

Seniors are often found using details that random people can guess, like name, phone number, or birthdate. Use unique passwords for each online account to prevent a single breach from compromising all your accounts.


Also, avoid creating passwords using keyboard patterns like QWERTY or 12345. Shake things up by combining letters, numbers, special characters, lowercase and uppercase letters.


2. Be cautious with personal information

There are several ways scammers will steal online information from seniors. Some seniors have lost tens and hundreds of thousands to email and Facebook scams by simply sharing personal information.


Avoid sharing sensitive personal information, such as your Social Security Number, bank account details, or home address. Scammers will offer mouthwatering incentives and special offers in exchange for your personal information. If you don't remember entering a contest, avoid the message.


3. Regularly update your software and devices

Regularly update your operating system, web browsers, and antivirus software. Updates often include important security patches that help protect your devices from vulnerabilities. 


4. Use antivirus software

Antivirus software helps detect and remove malware, viruses, and other malicious software that could compromise your online safety.


However, always purchase recognized computer security software to avoid being hacked. Also, learn about antivirus software options and online security tools before installing them on your devices. 


5. Be cautious of phishing attempts

It's best to ignore online messages from a sender you don't know. Be wary of emails, messages, or phone calls asking for personal information or urging you to click on suspicious links.


One common tactic involves scammers sending emails like they are from credible websites and organizations to trick you into revealing sensitive information. If in doubt, contact the organization directly using their official contact information.


6. Avoid using unknown Wi-Fi networks

When connecting to the internet, use secure Wi-Fi networks with passwords. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for transmitting sensitive information like online banking, credit card numbers, or shopping. If you must use public Wi-Fi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet traffic.


7. Be mindful of scams

Stay informed about common online scams targeting seniors, such as lottery, romance, or tech support scams.


Pop-up ads and scam emails are often disguised as software updates to steal sensitive information. Be skeptical of unsolicited offers or requests for money. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


8. Set up two-step authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication provides extra security to your online accounts. It requires you to provide a secondary form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your phone and your password.


Many older adults may not know how to set this up, so you must speak with a trusted relative to do it for you.


9. Practice safe browsing

Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unfamiliar websites. Don't open any attachments that seem suspicious or that you don't recognize.


Stick to reputable websites for online shopping, banking, or other transactions. Use secure websites with "https://" in the URL to ensure your data is encrypted during transmission.


10. Carefully adopt new technologies

Every time you try to adopt new tech tools like mobile applications or software, ensure to learn about them before installation. Scammers will try and steal online information by promoting a game, romance/erotic platform, etc. 


11. Back up important items

You can store important documents and files from your smartphone onto your computer so you don't lose them. Simply plug your USB connector into your computer and connect the other end to your mobile device.


Select the items you want to transfer and follow the prompts on your phone.


12. Seek help when needed

Don't hesitate to ask for help from a trusted family member, friend, or tech-savvy individual if you encounter any suspicious activity or are unsure about something online. They can provide guidance and support.

Remember, staying safe online is a continuous effort. Stay informed about emerging threats and best practices to protect yourself while using technology.


Final Words

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 55 million older adults in the U.S. were aged 65 and older in 2023, up from 35 million in 2000. Some of the praise for this can be attributed to improvements in healthcare through technologies [3].


You too can enjoy these benefits by following the steps and tips laid out in this article.


Are you planning to age gracefully in place at home? Do you want the independence, freedom, and comfort that comes with knowing you have a team that supports your wishes to age in your comfort zone? Kendal At Home is here for you. Connect with us today to get started.

Healthy aging is hard on your own. Kendal at Home can help you age well and enjoy your retirement.

Register for a Seminar to Learn More


Subscribe to our blog and have articles

sent directly to your inbox.

Keep Reading