According to AARP, an estimated 62 percent of adults over the age of 70 have a smartphone. This group is larger among adults aged between 60 and 69, with an 81 percent rate of adoption. Technology has opened new worlds to America’s aging population, making it easier than ever to go shopping, visit family, and share their favorite photos, but technology comes with risk -- data privacy is essential to proper technology usage, and seniors are a primary target for attacks.
Older adults are a prime target for cyberattacks because -- generally speaking -- they are less fluent in the nuance of the internet. While younger users who have learned to discriminate between phishing links and legitimate emails may not struggle to avoid scams, an older person with their first email account may not. Seniors may accidentally give their email to untrustworthy websites, which sell their information to scammers.
Online scams among seniors are an ongoing problem in the United States -- in fact, the FBI estimates as much as $3 billion is stolen from American seniors by fraudsters annually. For these reasons, it is of the utmost importance residents protect their online data and make their privacy a priority.
On Data Privacy Day, we’re helping our residents learn more about protecting their online presence. We’ll teach them how to identify scams, and the best practices for keeping their accounts safe (like changing their passwords every six months, and how to choose secure passwords). We hope that by educating our residents, we can protect them from cyberattacks and fraudsters.
At Pacifica Senior Living communities, our residents’ privacy is important to us -- in-person, and online. We’re happy to help our residents navigate their technological devices and answer questions if they’re unsure about a possible scam. Families are welcome to learn more about ways they can assist their loved ones with data privacy by chatting with us below.