How to protect your online privacy: 6 cyber safety tips for seniors

No matter your age, knowing how to protect your privacy online is increasingly important. Every eight minutes, a cybercrime is reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). And with Aussies aged 65 years and over less likely to check and update their privacy settings regularly, the risks for seniors of becoming victim to a cyber security breach is higher.

Why are Aussie seniors more at risk of cyber security breaches?

Throughout the long lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aussies of all ages are spending more time online than ever in an attempt to stay connected.

But while seniors are increasingly using social media and online platforms to keep in touch with loved ones, they may also unknowingly be sharing personal information with complete strangers. Maintaining secure privacy settings can prevent this. But many seniors are putting themselves at risk by never checking their privacy settings at all. This means their posts – such as family photos, location check-ins, or personal information – could be visible to anyone on the internet.

Apia’s 6 cyber safety tips for seniors

Use strong and unique passwords

A combination of letters (lower and uppercase), numbers and symbols is a great way to protect yourself.

Check your privacy settings regularly

Most online services have settings that let you control who can see what you post. Before posting anything, get to know the privacy policies and settings, and check them regularly.

Think before you post

When you post anything online, you may be inadvertently sharing personal details about yourself and family members.

Not sure? Don’t open or click

Opening emails from unknown sources or clicking on unfamiliar links is often how cyber criminals get access to your personal information. If it doesn’t look right, you don’t know who it’s from, or you don’t know where it’s taking you, don’t open or click on it.

Know your friends

You don’t have to accept all friend requests or connections. Be selective about who you connect with online. For your own safety and security, limit your connections to people you already know.

Ask for help

If you’re unsure about setting up a social media profile, or want a refresher in checking your privacy settings, ask a trusted friend or family member for assistance. If you’d like to read more on how you can protect your privacy online, the ACSC have an online guide for seniors with lots of helpful information to help keep you safe.

Read more

^Names have been changed for privacy reasons.

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Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.

Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.

Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. 

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.