On Grandparents’ Day, Reach Out and Help Someone
This article is courtesy and permission of privacy and security expert Rebecca Herold, known as The Privacy Professor, who taught a workshop I attended on Microsoft’s campus to train for my information privacy certificate from the IAPP (International Assn. of Privacy Professionals). By the way, she puts out a terrific, informative newsletter.
“This Grandparents Day, September 12, make sure the elder loved ones in your life are practicing good data security and privacy behaviors.
While some seniors are quite savvy when it comes to protecting their online security, others may not be as security or privacy savvy with all aspects of technology use. This extends beyond the Internet, including phone calls, postal mail and even door-to-door visits from scammers.
Here are three ways you can raise data security and privacy awareness among grandparents and other members of generations that came before you:
1. Help them request their free credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). Everyone in the US is legally entitled to one free copy of their credit report from these three credit reporting agencies once every 12 months. They can be requested online from annualcreditreport.com. Please note, this is the only authorized website for free credit reports! Or, if you prefer, call 1-877-322-8228. When making a request, you need to provide name, address, social security number and date of birth to verify identity. After getting the reports, take some time to review the reports with them, if they are okay with that. Look for suspicious or unfamiliar information. Follow up on any incorrect or unrecognized information.
2. If your grandparents aren’t as tech-savvy as you, take an afternoon or two to help them to update their phones, computers, laptops, IoT gadgets and other computing devices. Make sure they are running on the most recent (and most secure) operating systems.
3. If your grandparents are on social media, have a chat with them about the information they have there. Discuss their passwords for each of the sites. Consider being a good role model by first documenting all of your social media sites and related IDs and passwords. Of course, store them in a secure location, such as a locking safe, a bank safe deposit box, an encrypted external hard drive (e.g., a USB stick) or a password saver that is local (not in the cloud) to where you are located. Include directions for what to do with your social media accounts if you should become incapacitated or something should take you from this earth. This will help you explain what your grandparents need to do, as you will have just been through the process yourself. It may be uncomfortable to start the discussion, but it is better than waiting until it is too late and not knowing what to do (or not being able to do anything).
Keep an eye out for the upcoming free flipbook we are releasing for Grandparents Day. It will include more instructions for the above three actions to help improve your grandparents’ security and privacy. (And if you like the flipbook, please let us know.” 😊
Note: As of today, Sept 7, I don’t see the free ebook yet on her site, so check back.
“There has been a new security threat to the most popular browser. Here’s an article with the details. The main thing you need to know is to check to make sure you have the latest update.
To protect yourself from these new threats, all Chrome users should go to Settings > Help > About Google Chrome. If your browser version on Linux, macOS and Windows is listed as 93.0.4577.63 or above you are safe. If not, the About screen should prompt you to update and restart your browser. You should do this immediately.”
But wait! There’s more…
Facebook allows you to designate a Legacy Contact. I call it planning for when I might get “hit by a bus.” Companies do this kind of planning and definitely, as individuals, we need to tell others how we want things handled when we can’t do it ourselves.
Here’s a link to learn more about designating a Facebook Legacy Contact for your account.
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