Teaching Internet Safety To The Elderly

Teaching Internet Safety To The Elderly
March 26 10:36 2013

Internet safety is something that everyone needs to know and understand. Young people and elderly people are often the most difficult to teach. This does not mean that they cannot learn, it simply means that the information needs to be given to them in a manner that is different from others.

Younger people have to learn that many of the sites that they want to go to are filled with issues for their computers. This is often not the same case with older people. Most elderly people are not perusing the same sites as younger people, but there are dangers for the elderly also.

The Goals of Hackers and Thieves

In order for anyone to understand internet safety, a good understand of the goals of the evil people of the internet. Hackers can be the most dangerous because they often have no other goal than to cause trouble.

While there are a host of people that are on the internet to steal and make money, there is also an equal number of people that are not trying to gain anything other than the pleasure of destroying other people’s property.

Also, directly stealing from people is not always the goal of internet hackers. Many times it is information and internet ranking that motivates these people. By installing malware into a system, that system can be used to force the display of websites and steal small bits of information to be used in the future.

Something for Nothing

This is a concept that the elderly know well. The only problem is that the internet is filled with legitimate free information and free things. It is important to teach how to tell the difference between legitimate freebies and free things that are just there to steal information.

Many times a free item can be had by signing up for an email newsletter. A lot of people use a specific email address to sign up for things like this and never care about SPAM because they never even look at the those emails.

The problem is teaching elderly people that are new to computers how to differentiate between what free items are good and what free items to avoid. This is a task that can be complex for even the most seasoned IT guys.

A good foundation for older people may be to avoid anything that seems too good to be true. After a few months perhaps they can set a restore point and try a few free things. Some of the best ways to learn are from experience.

Start Slow

The fundamentals are a good place to start. Start by showing them some free email accounts and some of the basics of internet searches. Show them how to preview the search results so that they have an idea where they are going.

Have a good anti-virus program installed that will warn them frequently about sites that have issues and downloads that are bad news. Sit with them while they peruse the internet and see what comes naturally to them. A little warning here and there is a good idea. Keep the internet security tight and they can avoid issues that way.

Make Notes for Them and Let Them Take Notes

Everyone has run into a time when they were sure they were going to remember a fact or piece of information and it was gone a few minutes later. The internet and computers have more information than one person can learn and remember in just a few sittings.

They are Not You

There are some things that people take for granted when they have been using a computer for years. Tasks such as double clicking and the context menu are commonplace to many people, but may be not that familiar to people that have not been using a computer for that long.

Be aware if this and do not take anything for granted. If it looks like you have overly confused someone, then stop and back up. You may have lost them at an earlier step that seems simple to you.

In the end, be kind and understand that everyone learns at their own rate. Take your time, be considerate and take the opportunity to get to know someone better along the way.

TorchBrowser is the youthful face for web browsing and downloading in the hi-tech world. Sarah Anderson is guiding users of all ages with TorchBrowser.com’s online torrent downloader.

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