A recent study from Statistics Canada showed that seniors are the fastest growing segment of internet users in Canada and that 69% of Canadians aged 55 to 64 and 18% of those 75 years and older own a smartphone.
In addition to adopting mobile technologies, like smartphones and tablets, seniors are also joining social media networks to stay connected. It is now more important than ever before to empower seniors to stay safe in our digital world.
However, there is a thin line between being connected and over sharing on social media. Here are six tips to help you protect your privacy and avoid over sharing on social media:
1. Never share your passwords, banking information, social insurance number or any other private information online. This tip may seem like common sense, but there may come a time when you need to share this information with a family member. Instead of sending the information online, it is more prudent to call them or, ideally, deliver the information in person.
2. Set strong and unique passwords or passphrases (i.e. a complete sentence such as ILoveMyGrandkids367*) for your accounts and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for added protection; with 2FA, you need to authenticate yourself with something in addition to your username and password, such as a code that is sent to your device by text.
3. Switch your social media profile to private in order to hide your profile information from users you have not accepted as friends.
4. Regularly review and update your privacy and permission settings so that you’re comfortable with what information you’re sharing and with whom.
5. Don’t accept friend requests from strangers or those you don’t know.
6. Be mindful of what you post and share, including information you may be unknowingly sharing. For instance, posting photos while on vacation is an indication that you’re not at home. You may also be inadvertently sharing the location in which the photos and/or videos were taken. This is done through the process of geo-tagging, which adds geographical location data to photos or videos. To enhance your privacy, turn geo-tagging off in your phone settings and wait to share vacation photos until you return.