According to a Pew Research study, approximately 34% of seniors 65 and older use social media to reconnect with old friends and to stay in touch with family. Social media is also an excellent way to learn about new hobbies and interests, connect with people with similar interests and to stay up to date on new trends. If you're one of those seniors who enjoy being on social media or if you are interested in joining a site like Facebook or Instagram, you should understand the importance of privacy to keep your information secure.
Seniors are often targeted by automated internet scams, which can result in hundreds and even thousands of dollars lost through investment schemes, mortgage scams and sweepstakes or lottery scams. This occurs through links sent in private inboxes and even through fake friend requests from scammers. Privacy settings are designed to prevent scammers from sending harmful information that can rob you of your financial information. By limiting the number of people who can reach you, you reduce the chances of being scammed.
Not all communication on social media is friendly. Cyberbullying, or rage, threats, condescending comments and accusations, can come from people of all ages and from all avenues, including family members. Privacy settings on social media make it possible to avoid individuals you don't know and to report those who seek to cause harm.
For example, on Facebook, select your settings in the top right of the home page from the drop-down menu and then click privacy in the left-hand toolbar. From there, you can choose what posts your friends have access to, who can see your friends list, who can look you up on Facebook and even whether you want outside search engines to link to your profile.
Whether it's your bank account numbers, your address or family members' privacy, it's important to know what you should and shouldn't post on social media. While it's ok to post pictures from a birthday party or other special event, avoid giving out birthdates, addresses and information on where you will be staying during your vacation. By posting this information early, you may make it easy for people to find you. Instead of posting early, post pictures several days after the event and leave off any confidential information.
At ViewPointe in Colorado Springs, CO, we offer internet for our community members to help you stay connected. Our trained team members are also available 24 hours a day to provide assistance with your personal needs.