9 Smart Ways Seniors Can Avoid Online Shopping Scams

May 1, 2024

Navigating the online world can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you consider the dangers lurking amidst your favorite websites. Did you know that in 2022, the Federal Trade Commission reported that adults 60 and older lost more than $1.6 billion to scams? That’s a staggering figure. 

Since many of these cases took place online, the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to online safety can’t be overstated. Let’s dive into some practical tips and tech-savvy strategies to make your online shopping experiences as safe and enjoyable as possible.

1. Double Up with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Think of 2FA as the digital bouncer that keeps your accounts secure. This may look like entering your phone number, receiving a pin code for verification, or adding a secondary email as a backup. By enabling these features, you’re adding an extra layer of protection to your login process, making it tougher for scammers to sneak their way in.

2. Block Those Ads and Trackers

Ever feel like online ads are following you around everywhere you go? Stop them in their tracks by using ad blockers and anti-tracking extensions. These handy tools not only declutter your browsing experience but also amp up your online security game. This can typically be turned on or added in the settings area of your app or browser; if you aren’t sure where to start, try a quick Google search for “ad blockers” or ask a friend!

3. Let Password Managers Do the Heavy Lifting

Struggling to remember all those complex passwords? Say hello to password managers! They generate and store strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts, keeping your precious logins under virtual lock and key. No more need to write down all your passwords on a pad of paper!

4. Stay in the Know About Sneaky Scams

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to recognizing common online shopping scams. Federal credit bureaus and sites like AARP typically have up-to-date info on the latest scams we should be watching out for. Keep your finger on the pulse by staying informed about the latest tactics used by scammers – it’s like having a personal scam radar.

5. Look for the Padlock and “https://”

When you’re eyeing that tempting online deal, always check for the padlock symbol in the website’s address bar. That little padlock means your data is getting a digital bodyguard of its own and any information sent between your browser and the website is sent securely, and can’t be intercepted and read by someone else while the information is in transit. Here’s an example of what this might look like: 

6. Dial Up Your Confidence 

Feeling a bit uncertain about that online purchase? Tap into the power of “phoning a friend” to get a helping hand from trusted family and friends. Seeing a familiar face while navigating unfamiliar online purchases can provide that extra boost of confidence as you shop, and keep you connected to the people you care about most. 

7. Keep Your Guard Up with Updated Security Software

Make sure your digital armor is up to date by keeping your devices equipped with the latest security software. Think of it as giving your tech gadgets a protective shield against online threats.

8. Tech Workshops = Digital Superpowers

One great way to use technology to combat isolation? Join a local tech workshop tailored for seniors! This can be a real game-changer. You’ll sharpen your digital skills, stay in the loop with the latest tech trends, and feel more confident navigating the online universe. And, of course, you’re sure to meet at least one or two new friends in the process.

9. Link Up with Virtual Support Networks

Connect with other tech-savvy seniors in your community to swap insights and experiences. Together, you can form a digital safety squad, helping each other steer clear of online shopping shenanigans.

The Takeaway

By arming yourself with these tech-savvy safety measures, you can confidently surf the digital waves and enjoy the perks of online shopping without falling subject to potential scams. Ready to take the next step in safeguarding your online shopping adventures – and maintaining your independence? Contact Priority Life Care for more information and explore how their assisted living services can complement your tech-savvy lifestyle. You’ll be supported – all while staying connected. 

Stay In Touch

Please come visit our communities and get to know our team. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we can do for you and your loved ones.