caucasian woman with her social network friends and business partners in a diagramThey spend hours on the Internet, playing games and chatting with their friends … what is it with this generation? We are talking, of course, about Baby Boomers.

In all seriousness, it’s no secret that older Americans have a growing online presence, particularly on Facebook. If you’re caregiver to a senior who maintains constant connections to family and friends through social media and other online platforms, then you know how much flavor it adds to their daily lives. You can’t really put a price on the ability to send grandkid photos halfway across the globe in a split-second.

Still, just about anything with upsides can also have downsides. Caregivers should stay informed about potential online hazards that could affect social media users, including the people in their care.

  • Including a home address in a social media profile may seem harmless, at least until you consider the fact that you never really know who’s watching you online. Social media security has become an issue for users who found themselves targeted by tech-savvy burglars after posting information about upcoming travel plans, social engagements and other activities that left their homes unoccupied. It’s best to leave locations undisclosed.
  • The information that falls into the Don’t Share category also includes exact birthdates and places of birth. Crafty criminals could use these details in an identity theft scam.
  • Use privacy settings to protect information on social media. It’s always a good idea to limit access to friends only. Some websites allow friends of friends to see what users post if the privacy settings aren’t configured appropriately.
  • To guard against account hacking, create strong, secure passwords using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers.
  • Beware of messages and friend requests from unknown parties. Some unsavory types use them as the pretext for social media scams.

Without a doubt, social media networks offer a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. At the same time, anything that’s useful has the potential for misuse. Share these social media security tips with the person in your care – and follow them yourself.

Image: Deposit Photos

Elle Aldridge is a safety and security expert as well as editor at Home Security System.


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