Recently, I came across a question on Quora wherein a gentleman, claiming to be 80 years of age, had asked for some advice on how to learn server side languages. In fact, he aimed to beat Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsy before he departs for good. Frankly, I was a bit surprised by this because I never expected an 80 year old person to be this enthusiastic about learning computers, let alone to learn to code.
But why not? Age is after all just a number and old age, as they say, is second childhood. Believe it or not old people aren’t that technologically challenged as they are considered to be. Given a proper guidance, they can out do any teenager on this front. This why we thought of sharing few online safety tips for these ‘young learners’. These tips were originally issued by our partner STOP.THINK.CONNECT. and Cyber-Seniors NPO.
Personal Information Is Like Money. Value It. Protect It.
- Lock your devices, like your tablet and phone: You lock the front door to your house, and you should do the same with your devices. Use strong passwords or passcodes to lock your tablet and phone. Securing your devices keeps prying eyes out and can help protect your information in case your devices are lost or stolen.
- Think before you act: Ignore emails or communications that create a sense of urgency and require you to respond to a crisis, such as a problem with your bank account or taxes. This type of message is likely a scam.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Clicking on links in emails are often how bad guys get access to personal information. If an email looks weird, even if you know the person who sent it, it’s best to delete.
- Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
- Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
Share With Care
- What you post will last forever: Be aware that when you post a picture or message online, you may also be inadvertently sharing personal details with strangers about yourself and family members ‒ like where you live.
- Post only about others as you would like to have them post about you: The golden rule applies online as well.
- Own your online presence: It’s OK to limit who can see your information and what you share. Learn about and use privacy and security settings on your favorite websites.
Going online lets you keep learning, connect with friends and family and play games. Just as you fasten your seat belt before driving, take precautions before using the Internet to be sure you are safe and secure. The first step is to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.: take safety measures, think about the consequences of your actions and connect knowing you have taken steps to safeguard yourself when online.
Uday Mittal (OSCP, Associate CISSP, DCPP) is the founder of Yaksas CSC. He has over 4 years of experience in dealing with various issues related to cyber security. He is actively working towards educating people on cyber security risks and steps to mitigate them. He’s also a member of (ISC)2, ISACA and DSCI.