The internet is a great resource when it comes to helping your loved one. The internet can be a source of information, entertainment and so much more. For example, if your loved one has a memory loss condition, they can use the internet to access online brain games that will help them halt the negative effects of memory loss and sometimes even reverse them. The internet can also be a great source of information for nutritious recipes and so on.
But the internet is a double-edged sword that can also have a terrible effect on your loved one. In this article, we look at some of the common threats that your loved one could face online. We also explore some of the ways in which you can help your loved one use the internet safely.
There are numerous threats that your loved one might face when using the internet. Scams such as the romance scam attempt to exploit the fact that your loved one may be looking to socialize with other people. Scammers will often adopt fake personas and then use those to try and scam your loved one out of money. They may also plant malicious software in your loved one’s computer in order to track pin keystrokes or other sensitive information that may give them access to bank accounts and so on. Finally, scammers will often pose as legitimate companies in order to get your loved one to reveal sensitive information that is then utilized to steal from them. With this in mind, how can you help your loved one use the internet safely?
Learn to Spot Possible Scams
One of the most effective ways of avoiding scams is to learn the basic characteristics of scammers. Since fraudsters are always coming up with new approaches to scamming their victims, the details are usually changing but the basics remain. You should teach your loved one to be wary of any online engagement that seems to move into familiarity too quickly. They should also be suspicious of any online engagement where the other party is asking them for money early on, no matter what reason is given. Even where the fraudster produces documentation to back their story (such as a debt demand letter), there is a high probability that such documents are forged.
If your loved one is being asked for information by their bank or insurance company, you should train them to verify the request offline before giving any information or even downloading anything. A quick call to the bank will quickly establish the veracity of the request. You should teach your loved one never to use any phone numbers that come with such an email request as fraudsters often provide such numbers then pretend to be bank officials. Use the regular number and if possible talk directly to your usual contact.
Modern antivirus software is very effective at detecting fake websites and suspicious requests. This is because these antivirus manufacturers keep a database of IP addresses and websites that are used by scammers. Regardless of the different approaches used, antivirus programs have become exceedingly good at detecting and blocking such malware.
Given the fact that fraudsters are always changing their tactics, it is a good idea to get your parents to check with you whenever anyone or any site is asking for personal or financial information.