Owners' Blog

Four Things You Should Do With Your Mom Right Now to Keep Her Online Information Safe

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

In light of the Equifax breach, many people are wondering how do you keep your online information safe. We have four tips to help you get your computer as secure as you can. While you cannot control what other companies do on their computers, the best security starts at home.

Set Up a Junk Email Account

Does your mom have one email account for everything? It's actually better to have a junk email when filling out some online forms. If your mom wants to check rates for insurance and may not actually sign up, have her use a junk email when filling out the query. Her personal email shouldn't be used on sites that may lead to spam.

Change Passwords

Change your mom's passwords and don't go for easy to guess ones. If your mom is using “password” for her password, she needs to stop. Create a string of various upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Create a password that looks more like this: 4Ftn$Ub3%T

It might be better to install a password manager for your mom. The software credits secure passwords for her and all she needs to remember is the master password for the password manager. Keepass is one option. Avast and other security programs also offer that service.

Jot important passwords down in a notebook to help her remember. She should change her password on banking, store, and other financial sites every six months to a year. Her email password should change every year or so. It's not as critical to change them on things like hotel or store rewards sites unless she has a credit card stored on that site.

Don't Store Credit Cards on Sites

Amazon and many other retailers store credit cards to make it easier for future shopping trips. Don't allow this. If your mom buys something and the credit card information is stored, delete it. Many stores give you the option. Make sure your mom always says no.

Go through sites where she has shopped recently or in the past and make sure nothing is stored. It may take time to go through all of the sites, but it's important to get that information deleted.

Install a Security Suite

Antivirus software is not enough. Your mom needs a program that checks for viruses, malware, and a host of other dangerous breaches that can hit her computer. Make sure she runs it daily and that it is set up to do automatic updates at least once per day.

As seniors use computers for socialization, it is very important to keep your mom's information safe. You may also want to hire home care to make sure your mom doesn't spend all of her waking hours online. A caregiver can drive your mom to local senior centers to interact with others. Call a home care agency to discuss the many other ways a caregiver can help your mom.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring homecare in Snellville, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.