Did you know October is cyber security month and according to Pew Research 84% of American adults and 58% of senior citizens are now online? Taking steps to protect yourself online has become a necessity in our digital world, and cyber security month is a great time to think about your online protections. As a survey conducted by AARP this past July discovered, although more Americans are online than ever before, an alarming number are not carefully securing their digital presence.

The survey found that 61% of Americans do not have online access to all of their online banking accounts and only 50% of Americans who have set-up online banking accounts change their password frequently as recommended.  Even more disconcerting, 71% of those surveyed said they do not have online access to all of their credit card accounts. This same survey also found a lack security when it comes to protecting our smartphones, with 26% of smartphone users admitting to not having a passcode. For adults 50 years of age or older, this number grows to nearly a third of smartphone users not employing passcodes.

As more and more consumers, particularly older adults, are online and adopting new innovative technologies to improve their daily lives, here are some tips on how to stay safe and secure online in 2015. Happy Cyber Security Month!

  1. Change passwords at least every 3 months
  2. Always add a password when possible (smartphones, tablets, laptops, ect. should always be password protected)
  3. Check your bank account regularly for suspicious activity
  4. Don’t click on any link unless it is from a trusted source
  5. Always back-up your devices (Laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.)
  6. Beware of public Wi-Fi; only use secure connections when entering any personal data online
  7. Keep all spyware, malware, and firewalls up-to-date on all devices
  8. Report any suspicious activity you recognize related to your personal online information


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