In today’s world, privacy has transcended beyond shutting door and closing blinds. Now we have to worry about virtual privacy and all of the things involved like “cookies” and password strengths. Can I eat these cookies? Does my password need to work out in order to be stronger? How do maintain privacy in a virtual world? The answer to those first two questions is no, but the answer the last quesition is a bit more involved. All of us should be concerned with our privacy in both the physical and virtual world, but unfortunately Seniors are the most targeted when it comes to identity theft and other crimes committed by virtual criminals. Today we are going to offer you tips and best practices when it comes to privacy on the internet.
- If you do not know the person who sent you the email, do not open it.
- Let’s say you receive an email from a trusted company like your bank or even the power company requesting information. Do not provide any information via email. Instead call the company requesting the information.
- Disable pictures from displaying when you open an email. Spammer recognize when an email has been opened if the pictures load and will send more spam.
- Do not click unsuscribe links in the body of the email. Most email services, including Gmail, have a “This is Spam” button that you can click. Clicking this button trains the email client to recognize spam and sort it correctly instead of sending it to your inbox.
- Some email services offer a “Block Sender” option that you can also use to cut down on Spam.
- If you have Caller ID, do not answer the phone if it says “Unavailable” or is a 1-800 number.
- If you do answer the phone to find a telemarketer on the line, kindly ask to be put on their “Do Not Call” list.
- Do not give personal information out over the phone. If the caller claims to be from your bank or other company that you do business with, write down all of the information they are requesting and then call the company back at one of their corporate phone numbers found on your bill or statement. DO NOT call the caller back at the number they provide.
The world is quickly advancing towards technology and all that it has to offer. Phones, televisions, and kitchen appliances are getting smarter and more integrated into our daily routines but that does not mean that they will replace commen sense. Nothing can replace taking a step back to gather your thoughts before making a decision.