Let technology do the talking: How to help your elderly relatives stay safely connected online 

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Newsgate360 – Riyadh: For the last three weeks, much has changed in our lives. People have been urged to only leave home if it is absolutely necessary, such as to shop for essential items or to seek medical care. However, there are plenty of technologies available to help us maintain the usual rhythm of our daily lives. For instance, services such as Noon and Amazon allow us to order grocery items without having to leave the house.

Unfortunately, not everybody is able to take advantage. People who are at greatest risk and need these services most – the elderly – can often experience some difficulties in using modern tools that many of us otherwise take for granted. Furthermore, their younger and more tech-savvy relatives cannot help with their daily routines as easily as they could in the past, as social distancing and restriction of physical contact have created additional barriers.

To stay in touch and buy the essentials, older generations are having to learn how technologies work and become more comfortable spending more time than usual online, which adds cybersecurity risks to the other challenges they face. According to a recent Kaspersky survey, 60% of people in the United Arab Emirates who are aged 55 or over do not take any special measures to protect themselves online. If we compare this to a younger generation that is 14% more than those aged 25 to 34.

This can lead to their details being stolen or revealed to third parties, as older generations may find it difficult to distinguish between genuine deals and scams created by those trying to exploit them.

To help your elderly relatives stay protected online while they are at home during the coronavirus lockdown, Kaspersky recommends taking the following measures:

  • Use phone and video chats to help with technical support remotely. Many programs, such as Skype, also allow desktop sharing to facilitate support;
  • Share details about websites where they can place food orders or find assistance on other important issues with them, or consider helping them by logging into their accounts to support them. Be careful who you share your credentials with though. Alternatively you could consider shopping online for them – many providers allow delivery to multiple locations;
  • Explain that they should not use the same password for more than one website or service. Consider supporting them with a password manager tool to make this easier;
  • Talk to them about the dangers of phishing and responding to links in unsolicited emails, social media and SMS messages, to help them avoid scams when banking and shopping online;
  • Let them know that they should avoid saving their card details on the websites they visit and purchase from;
  • Provide them with advice on where they can find government or trusted support/help services or register with these agencies on their behalf;
  • Install a reliable solution for a wide range of threats – for example, Kaspersky Total Security, which helps to guard your family and private data. In order to help users stay safe in current challenging times Kaspersky is offering its multi-device security free for 3 months.
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