It seems that every day, there is news about a new breach hitting the media. Some of the earliest involved stores like Home Depot and TJ Maxx. Then, there were huge breaches of Equifax and Marriott. If your parents are in a breach, do they know how to protect themselves against identity theft or to prevent fraudulent transactions? Do you?
It’s estimated that fraudulent transactions cost older American’s $1.7 billion in 2017. The average loss was more than $34,000. You can’t stop every type of fraud from happening, but you can take preventative measures and know what to do if it happens to your mom or dad.
Run Virus/Malware Scans
Make sure your parents’ computer is set to do automatic scans of their system for viruses, malware, etc. Have virus definitions updated daily. This helps keep them safer on their end, though things can slip through. If there’s a new virus that doesn’t have definitions set up yet, it’s possible.
Use Email Software That Has Strong Spam Filters
Many email programs are now set up with effective spam filters. If spam comes in, it usually goes right to a spam folder. Mistakes will happen, so your parents should check their spam folders and move mail as needed. The software learns what is and isn’t spam this way.
Instead of opening spam emails, your parents can quickly delete them. They should also make sure the settings are set to have to double-click to open an email and not to automatically open attachments.
After learning of a breach or possible hack, change passwords on any site related to that company. If your parents have used that password or a similar version of it on other sites, change those too.
Many virus software suites have password protection as part of the options. They’ll help your parents create strong passwords that are stored with a passcode or PIN within that software so that they don’t have to remember them. They should also write them down in a notebook that’s stored in their safe or a lockbox.
Check Their Credit Report
After a breach, they should check their credit report. They want to look for accounts that are not theirs. If they find anything, they should report it to the three credit bureaus and notify the FBI’s fraud division to get a case number.
Consider a Credit Freeze
Your parents may want to put a credit freeze in place. They’ll do that online or by phone. If they do want to take out a new loan or open a new credit card, they have to thaw their credit file before the application is processed.
If your parents struggle with daily tasks like organizing mail, handling phone calls, or sorting spam emails from valid ones, it’s time to make sure they have help. Elderly care services help with more than laundry and housekeeping. Caregivers can help your parents as they pay bills, read emails and mail, and answer the phone. Call an elderly care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Elba, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.
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