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Cybersecurity for seniors

If you run a senior living community, it is likely that some (or maybe even many) of your residents will want to be digitally connected. However, cyber scammers often target older adults, which means the people you serve may experience significant problems when they are online.

Church Mutual works with senior living communities across the United States to help them reduce their cybersecurity risk. Following are a few tips you can share to help your residents keep a secure online presence:

  1. Be wary of any email with a link. Scammers can hack into contacts’ email addresses and send messages posing as them.
  2. Use security software. It’s important that you install security software onto your devices and run any necessary updates. However, never click on security ads or updates that appear on pop-ups — they could be malware that could infect your computer.
  3. Log out of apps and websites when you are finished using them. Never leave these apps open on your screen when you walk away from the device. You never know who might try to access them using your credentials.
  4. Add two-step authentication to your accounts. Two-step authentication grants access to the account only after the user successfully presents two or more pieces of evidence that they are who they say they are. Often, this can include a text message or email that requires the user to type a code for verification.
  5. Create strong passwords. While it may be convenient to use the same password for every account so you can easily remember it, that is a dangerous practice. Anyone who discovers your password will have access to everything. Strong passwords include a mix of lowercase letters, capital letters, numbers and symbols.
  6. Enable the default firewall security protection on your computer. Your operating system has default settings that will protect your computer without you having to purchase protection software.

The Internet and digital devices are wonderful ways for seniors to stay connected. You can help them do so safely by visiting For additional safety resources, visit