Home Instead Senior Care offering tips for senior adults to avoid being scammed online

(The following tips were submitted to WDAM 7 by Home Instead Senior Care.  For more details, visit www.ProtectSeniorsOnline.com or call 601-261-2114.)

1. Create passwords and make them strong. Lock all internet-enabled devices, including computers, tablets and smartphones, with secure passwords – at least 12 characters long and a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Secure access to accounts, with two-step verification. Many online services, including apps and websites, offer free options to help protect personal information. Learn more at LockDownYourLogin.com.

3. Think before you act. Emails or messages that create a sense of urgency – like a problem with a bank account or taxes – are likely a scam. Reach out to companies by phone to determine if emails are legitimate.

4. When in doubt, throw it out. If an email looks unusual, delete it. Clicking on links in email is often how scammers access personal information. Turn on spam filters to filter suspicious messages.

5. Share with care. Be aware of what you share publicly on social media and adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your information.

6. Use security software, including updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

7. Adjust browser safety settings for optimum security.

8. Use your computer's default firewall security protection on your computer.

9. Log out. Log out of apps and websites when you're finished using them. Leaving them open on your computer or smartphone could make you vulnerable to security and privacy risks.

10. Consider support. Seniors who live alone or spend a lot of time by themselves may want to consider a trusted source, such as adult family members, computer-savvy grandchildren, or professional caregivers, to serve as a second set of eyes and ears when conducting activities online.