Long gone are the days when only exceptionally tech-savvy people could get on the internet. People of all ages and levels of expertise are now online, there are more and more users joining every day, and this trend won’t slow down any time soon.
At the same time, it looks like many people who enter this new realm do so in a careless manner. Few stop to think about the implications of their actions, and we can often see people compromising their safety in very unusual ways.
The elderly are among the most popular target groups for online scammers. Many of them have an unfortunately low understanding of the technology they use. Some are also careless about what kind of information they’re leaving online.
And while a modern tech user might have a VPN, use 2-factor authentication, and other similar features and tools, some older people don’t even understand the meaning of those terms.
Common Security and Privacy Threats
Social engineering is a common attack strategy used when targeting the elderly. It’s easy to play with a person’s sense of urgency, even more so by inserting an element like a family member into the equation. It’s also possible to capture login details of unsuspecting victims by targeting them through malicious WiFi networks.
Older people might also be more careless when using shady websites like torrenting networks. And while this is not a problem for someone familiar with how the technology works, it might be a different story with an elderly person. Viruses and other threats are sometimes designed to prey on people in specific age groups, exploiting known behavioral patterns. The rise of data science and its wide availability has made this even easier for attackers.
Popular Solutions for Protection
There are many ways a user could keep themselves safe online these days. This includes your parents – even if they don’t understand the first thing about computers. You do need to know a bit more about tech to set up a VPN, but using it afterward is easy. And it will only take a short while for you to set everything up for your parents to be relatively safe online.
A reliable antivirus software is another important tool that many people disregard these days. It can work very effectively against most common types of digital threats, even more so for simpler viruses. And the kind of malware that tends to target the elderly often falls right into that category. With that in mind, look up some popular antivirus solutions on the market, and set up your parents’ system properly.
We also mentioned 2-factor authentication above. It’s another useful tool that can make a difference if hackers ever attack you. It makes things more complicated for an attacker by requiring that they have access to a secondary device on top of your login details. However, it might make things more complicated at first for your parents. Those who don’t use smartphones might have an even more difficult time. So make sure to help them to get used to the technology.
Why VPN Is Often the Best Choice
In the end, you should focus on getting a good VPN. This alone can make a significant difference in the safety of a person’s daily browsing – especially for the elderly. Plus, it will also make things easier for them to use in the long run. A VPN has many benefits on top of providing security and privacy. It can improve your access to digital media, and open up the internet to a great extent. Most VPN service providers will require a certain fee, but NordVPN currently offers a deal that could help you in getting a highly reliable service for a good price.
It’s also a great tool for people who travel a lot. If your parents are keen travelers they might enjoy the additional layer of protection when accessing their email from abroad. Public WiFi networks won’t pose any problems in terms of security as long as the devices remain connected through a VPN.
Finding a good VPN is not that difficult nowadays either. There are many companies on the market with an established reputation and reliable products. And many offer VPN for multiple devices, which means that you can get a VPN account for yourself and use the same one for your parents’ devices.
The rates among most providers tend to be reasonable as well. All you have to do is reach out and find out what’s available. The rest comes down to choosing a provider that works in a manner simple enough for elderly users. Many VPN services these days come with their own apps that are very simple and intuitive to use. You’ll just have to take care of the initial configuration yourself.
Take one look at how often your parents are on Facebook, browsing news portals, or using email. The amount of information they’re revealing to third parties should be alarming to any responsible son or daughter. And the solution is not expensive or complicated, so there are no excuses for delaying it any further.