Age-Related Financial Vulnerability: 3 Ways To Safeguard Your Elderly Parents Online

6 April 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Throughout their life, your parent was a prime of financial responsibility that taught you how to save more money than you spend. However, you have recently noticed that their ability to manage their finances has begun to decline. You especially worry now that they have started spending more time online that they may be vulnerable to scammers that target the elderly. While you can't always be there to watch over their shoulder, you can take these steps to help your parents manage passwords for their online accounts properly and reduce the chances of someone gaining access to their financial accounts.

Use a Different Password For Each Account

The old days where a person had a single password to remember are over. Now that hacking has become more advanced, using the same password for a person's email, banking and social media accounts increases the risk that they could all be broken into at once. Unfortunately, senior adults often use a single password to simplify the process of logging in to their accounts. Help your loved one through the process of sign up for password managers that will make it easier for them to store all of their passwords on their computer for easier and safer access to all of their favorite websites.

Help Them Create Stronger Passwords

During the process of password manager sign up, your loved one will likely discover that their preferred password is weak. Ideally, passwords should not contain obvious personal information such as your parent's birthday or any common family names. It should also be longer than eight characters. Using a phrase is helpful, and it is best to include some symbols to mix it up. Once your loved one has a strong password for each account, just set up the manager system so that they don't have to keep up with it all.

Use a Spam Filter and Warn Against Clicking Links

Storing and creating stronger passwords for each of your loved one's accounts will reduce the ability of scammers to access their financial accounts. Now, help them avoid purposely giving someone their money by using a spam filter to siphon out nefarious emails from your loved one's business accounts. Then, warn them never to click on links from unknown senders, and recommend that your loved one check with a designated financial caregiver before writing anyone a check.

Even the most skeptical senior citizen can fall prey to financial abuse when they follow outdated online practices such as keeping the same password for every account. By updating your loved one's passwords and ensuring that they stick to the plan, you can save them from financial hardship and heartache that impacts their wellbeing.