A Senior’s Guide to Protecting Your Identity Online

Keeping your identity safe online doesn’t mean you have to change all of your online habits. Here is a brief senior’s guide to protecting your identity online:

While the Internet serves as a valuable tool for seniors to stay in touch with far flung family and friends, it can also be as easy way for people to find out sensitive information about them. While many seniors are familiar with technology and how computers work, there are sophisticated scam artists who devote large chucks of time to perpetrating believable online scams. Here are some tips to keep your information secure while browsing online:

  • Clear your history every few weeks. Clearing the history on your computer can be annoying, as you lose saved information, like passwords that are stored for your most used websites. But in addition to clearing out the list of sites you’ve visited recently, clearing the browser history also gets rid of cookies. Cookies are used by online advertisers to see which sites you’ve visited and market you similar services.
  • Set up a spam email account. Most coupons or money saving offers require you to provide an email address or sign up for an account with the site offering the deal. For example, you have to make an account to purchase any of the cut rate deals that appears on the Groupon website. Using one account for these promotions and another for your personal business helps to keep the information you want to protect safe, and makes it easier for you to find important information in a hurry.
  • Sign out of your web browser. Many people forget to log out of the programs they use. Financial services, like a bank website, will often sign you out after a certain amount of idle time. But with the wealth of information available in email, shopping sites, and social networks, it is good practice to close these accounts every time you finish using them.