9/25/23, Yom Kippur: UES & SOHO repair centers are closed / Midtown will be open

Senior Citizens and Hackers

With technology rapidly emerging within the last 30 years and computers only being invented and innovated throughout the last couple decades, senior citizens of today are the least knowledgeable when it comes to technology and more at risk for the scams that have been created to steal money and even identity. Imagine having to spend your retirement on a mortgage only to lose the rest of your savings through a scheme that could have been easily avoided just by knowing what to look for.

These scammers don’t just use a computer for their theft, but through many mediums of technology, especially now that so many peole carry a computer via smartphone. Text messages and e-mails disguised as official collections letters can scare just about anyone if they believe what they’re reading. Often times there will be a phone number to call with a person waiting on the other line to fool you into thinking that you need to pay them for something you had no idea about. This type of ransomware is on the rise with the prevalence of gift cards being in abundance at just about every store from pharmacies to big box stores.

Another way of making these scams seem legitimate is by clicking a link from an e-mail, text or even a social media message, and going to a website that secretly downloads spyware or a virus to the computer accessing it. This then prompts pop-ups or messages that look like real operating system errors. Such as needing to activate Windows or getting rid of a virus by calling a number and giving a credit card number or making the victim give banking information and access to their computer through remote programs. These scammers can come from all parts of the world simply by applying for an 800 number to make it seem like they are from the same country as the victim.

How Do I Prevent These Scams?

Anyone can fall for these scams to be honest, but senior citizens are the most prone to scams and hackers simply because they are the most gullible into believing the pop-ups and responding to it right away without questioning the validity of these messages and e-mails. Some of the best ways of prevention is as easy as not clicking on pop-ups and opening e-mails from senders you don’t know. Having an anti-virus program or even ones that come with the operating system can prompt you if the virus really is something to be concerned about. Phone numbers, especially 800 numbers, can be checked through a search engine before calling the number to be fooled by someone on another side of the world. Looking at the URL on a link before clicking can also validate if it’s a real link or not because most odd looking addresses usually lead to a fake site that might trigger an unwanted download.

Staying safe in today’s world full of technology can be difficult as it is always expanding and getting more advanced more rapidly. Having a sense of doubt can be a good thing when it comes to preventing yourself from being hacked.

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