Few groups of people are at higher risk for things like identity theft and financial manipulation than senior citizens. There are a variety of reasons for this, but there are thankfully steps that you can take to decrease the risks faced by you and your family members.
There are three major reasons why older citizens are more likely to be the victims of this type of fraud. The first is quite simple. Older citizens are wealthier, and have more to lose. In general, older citizens have worked hard during their life, and this wealth often accumulates in the form of property, investments, and a lack of debt. This makes them ideal targets for thieves. Their assets and financial stability make them tempting marks. Younger generations often have a much worse situation financially, and have fewer assets to steal.
Secondly, many older citizens are not accustomed to the digital age yet. It is much easier to learn something for the first time than it is to make yourself forget one way and relearn a completely different method. So, when it comes to protecting their information and being wary of online scams, senior citizens are often at a disadvantage vs their younger counterparts. This makes them more likely to accidentally install malware such as spyware and viruses which can completely make off with all of their personal and financial information. Whether it be falling victim to phishing scams or leaving their personal information unsecured, there are countless digital tools to steal ones vital data.
Finally, some senior citizens can begin to lose some of their faculties. If we become more forgetful or less suspicious, it is easier for others to take advantage of us. Unfortunately, we all must age, and there are a whole host of challenges associated with the process.
So, if you have an older relative, or you know that your own technical ability is not great, one of the best things that you can do is have their personal computers examined for malware. Detecting and removing malware can be the difference between having all of your information stolen, and being able to do something about it. Leaving a potentially infected computer, and continuing to use it to transmit important messages is placing you and your family at huge risk. Take their computer in to an expert, and have all traces of malware completely removed. Then, ask about setting up security.