Nancy LeaMond: Enjoy Life Online, But Be Savvy & Stay Safe!

Remember life before the Internet? If you’re 50+, like I am, you do. But you’re not reminiscing the good old days. You’re increasingly going online to research healthcare choices, manage your finances, plan your retirement and vacation, buy baseball tickets and groceries, and socialize with family, friends, even strangers, by emailing or blogging.
Life online brings great rewards and risks, particularly to our personal privacy. To help you stay safe online and protect yourself, AARP and Google have created a series of online consumer safety videos Google Privacy Channel on YouTube and on AARP.org’s online safety page.
Our videos offer tips for using passwords safely, enabling firewalls, shopping and sharing information wisely, and avoiding online scams like phishing and other ploys.
While you can’t eliminate every risk, these tips can help you reduce the chance your personal information will be hijacked. Whether you’re searching for doctors, dates, limousine drivers, or donut shops with online search engines or simply surfing the web for fun, our videos will help you be smart and protect yourself.
I hope you’ll use our new online consumer safety videos and share them with family and friends!
Here are a few tips from our videos that I hope that you’ll follow:

  • Firewalls are your friend: They ensure that only trusted servers interact with your computer. Be sure your firewall is enabled.
  • Passwords are key: Make them easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess. Never use social security numbers, birthdates, addresses or other easily found information.
  • Acronyms get A+: Use a phrase you can’t forget – like I Bought My Car in 2005 – and use the acronym, IBMCI2005, as a password.
  • Beware of public computers: When accessing websites in your public library, a government office or friend’s house, never click on a “Remember me on this computer” prompt.
  • Inoculate your pc against viruses: Use anti-virus and anti-spy ware software and always keep them up to date.
  • Be savvy when shopping and sharing: The Internet is an easy way to share emails, photos, and blog posts. But use the sharing controls provided by the service you’re using. For example, when using AARP’s photo-sharing service, use sharing controls to ensure that your family vacation photos stay within your family.

And as always, don’t forget to check for daily updates on all the latest news you can use on both AARP’s blog, ShAARPsession and the Official Google Blog. Have fun, and stay safe!