Access to technology, specifically access to the Internet, has opened the doors to a variety of tools that improve the quality of life of everyone who is willing to learn how to properly use it and make adaptations to their daily routines. For seniors and older adults, learning to use tools available via the Web has been challenging but also rewarding. Most of us know a grandmother or grandfather who has adopted social tools like Facebook, and who is actively engaged with relatives near and far.
Aside from the social aspects of the Internet—utilities such as online banking, online trading, bill payment, and other financial tools—there are digital assets such as iTunes accounts, frequent-flyer accounts, and rebate memberships like ShopAtHome.com that have tangible value to the owners and possibly to their heirs. Knowing how to track, access, protect, and transfer these digital assets can make life easier for everyone involved, and provide the senior adult with the confidence of knowing his or her valuables are both protected and accessible as needed.
Seniors Need to Learn About Password Security
It is very tempting to have a single, simplified password for everything, but as we all know, this presents significant digital-security risks. Seniors need to know how to create a secure password and need to understand the importance of security questions. Another important feature that seniors need to understand and incorporate is two-factor authentication for high-risk accounts, or when they access their accounts via public computers. Password security is the first and most important aspect of digital-asset management for seniors using technology as part of their daily lives.
Locked accounts are a common happenstance with seniors. Because memory tends to play tricks on the aging, having login and password information recorded in a secure but accessible place is key to maintaining constant and easy access to your online accounts. Creating a printed and digital list of your password and storing each in a secure place may provide convenience and peace of mind. It is also wise to let a trusted party know the location of password cheat sheets, should the senior become incapacitated or have a memory lapse.
Seniors Need to Track Their Digital Accounts
The number of environments with password-based access just keeps growing by the day. Because we don’t generally use all accounts on a regular basis, it is wise to keep track of all digital accounts via a list that is audited often, to ensure the accounts are still useful and the passwords have been updated. Also, with perks and memberships such as airline miles and credit-card points, seniors need to be cognizant of expiration dates and activity patterns.
There are many financial predators on the Web looking for opportunities to get hold of unsuspecting seniors with access to credit cards. From insurance fraud to nutritional aids and email scams, the risks are many. Teaching seniors how to understand digital risks is essential to their security and the security of their assets. Many senior centers offer free educational seminars designed to build awareness of these issues.
Most of these tips are applicable to all of us regardless of age, but they are especially important for seniors who have just begun using the Internet as a tool to improve their quality of life. At Estate Assist, we are committed to helping families protect their legacy through providing superior digital tools for the storage of important documents and account information.