This year we have launched new tools to help older people safeguard themselves against online harms, including The Little Black Book of Scams, the ‘Check Netsafe‘ website checker and our online webinar of fraud tips and advice (all linked below).
This was important to us because digital technology is playing a growing role in the lives of older people and ‘silver surfers’ are the fastest-growing group of online users. But it can be tricky to navigate all the new information and emerging technology safely, especially for those who didn’t grow up with the internet. Find out how older people can stay safe online with the resources and tips below.
Scammers are targeting older people and some seniors, like many of us, make simple mistakes like giving their credit card information out when they lack basic online safety knowledge. But if we can equip more people with the tools they need, scammers won’t be able to steal from them, and seniors will be protected from thousands of dollars of loss. Read about the 11 most common scams reported to Netsafe.
Free Netsafe scam-proofing resources:
Little Black Book of Scams
Compiled by Bronwyn Groot, Netsafe ‘scambassador’ and NZ Anti-Fraud Award winner, the Little Black Book of Scams tells you almost everything you need to know about the most common scams targeting New Zealanders today. You can download a copy to read on your device or print it out to keep by the computer at home.
Scammers are so clever, it can be hard to tell what is real and what is fake. So, to try and help you sort the good deals from the good for-nothings, Netsafe has a smart new tool – checknetsafe.nz
Type in or copy and paste the web address link you want to check and within seconds you will know if the link is likely a scam or legitimate checknetsafe.nz
Netsafe scam fraud webinar
Watch this video from Netsafe ‘scambassador’ Bronwyn Groot and Netsafe’s Chief Online Safety Officer Sean Lyons, for tips, advice and resources on how to avoid being scammed online:
This webinar was supported by Chorus. Netsafe has partnered with Chorus to create educational materials for older people, so they can enjoy the benefits of technology while being confident and safe online.
SCAM PREVENTION TIPS
How to avoid scams, hoaxes and phishing
People in New Zealand lose millions of dollars each year to scammers. Here are a few key tips to avoid the scams:
- If you suspect you have received a hoax email, don’t reply to it or open any accompanying attachment – just delete it
- Visit trusted websites by typing the internet address (URL) into the browser address bar rather than clicking on a link embedded in an email
- Save frequently used links in your favourites or bookmarks bar
- Never respond to requests for personal information in an unexpected email or pop-up window. If in doubt, always contact the institution that claims to be the sender of the email or pop-up window for clarification
- Use a spam filter to help block unsolicited and unwanted emails
GENERAL TIPS TO HELP OLDER PEOPLE STAY SAFE ONLINE
Technology connects us to loved ones, helps us access information and means you can purchase goods and services from the comfort of your own home. There are a few tips to think about before you get going:
- Do a stocktake: Assess how many devices in your house connect to the internet to understand where the risks are and start to mitigate them.
- Assess new technology: Investigate new apps or platforms by checking out T&Cs, reviews before using them.
- Secure your virtual house. Use strong passwords, update your software and use two- factor authentication where possible.
- Share your experience: Talk to your friends and family about the technologies you use and let them know the tips and tricks you use to eliminate risk.
- Combat misinformation: Guide people to official information sources like covid19.govt.nz to stop the spread of fake news.
- See something, say something: If you see suspicious or criminal activity online, report it. If you don’t know where to report, Netsafe can help.
- Practice safe clicking: be careful clicking on links, attachments or ads from unknown sources as they might be hiding malware.
- Protect your info: Criminals are harvesting personal information. Stop and think carefully about the details you’re disclosing or whether they need to entered online.
- Have fun: Explore the different technologies available to help you connect, learn, stay informed and participate in Aotearoa’s new virtual society.
- Help others: Share your online safety tips and experiences using #stayconnectedstaysafe to help others, or email us.
How to protect your digital footprint
Your digital footprint is the trail of ‘electronic breadcrumbs’ you leave behind as you use the internet and it’s important to manage it carefully.
How to stay safe on devices including mobile phones
Smartphones and tablets also need protecting. Netsafe has put together some advice to help you protect your device against digital dangers.
How to shop safely online
There are so many conveniences to shopping online, but you also need to be careful about who you’re buying from and the information you’re giving out. Check out Netsafe’s Shopping Online Safely advice to help get you on your way.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111.
If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.