Social Media Tips for Seniors
Social media is a great tool to help people stay in touch with family and friends located far and wide. It can be especially useful for seniors who have moved to a continuing care retirement community. All you need to do is login, update your personal status or comment on posts to feel connected to those you care about the most. However, like all good things, there are some cautions to be aware of when using social media.
Research shows that nearly 80 percent of individuals over the age of 65 have used the internet at least once in the past year. In fact, they are one of the fastest growing age groups that are utilizing social networks like Facebook. So, how can seniors and their loved ones ensure that they are using social media carefully and avoiding some of the biggest dangers to regular users? Keep reading to learn a few of our top tips for safe social media use as you stay connected online.
7 Social Media Tips for Senior Users
1. Keep Private Info Private
While it can be tempting to share life’s moments, both big and small over the internet, oversharing online is never a good idea. Avoid posting updates that include vacation plans or daily updates when you’re away from home. This is an easy way to advertise your whereabouts to would-be burglars. Many social applications have built-in security settings that will let you turn off your GPS location so that you can keep your location private.
2. Use Better Passwords
Many social media users use personal information that is easy to remember as their online passwords. Unfortunately, that is a big mistake, as there’s a chance that a hacker could easily learn information about your favorite sports team or your pet’s first name from looking at your account. Strong passwords should always have more than 8 characters, use a combination of numbers and letters and include one or more characters of punctuation. Additionally, you should be using a different password for each social media platform.
3. Trust Your Instincts
Most people are told to only interact with people they know personally online. While this is a smart practice, if you’re using social media to meet peers who have similar interests, you won’t get anywhere by sticking to that old rule. However, you should still be cautious when adding new “friends” online and be sure to keep personal information guarded. If you ever plan on meeting someone from the internet, you should let a friend or family member know and only do so in a public space. It’s even better if you only meet people from the internet with another trusted friend or loved one in tow.
4. Practice Social Media Etiquette
It’s very easy for your words and the words of others to get jumbled in translation online. Communicating through text isn’t the easiest task, even for those who are confident in their writing skills – so remember to always practice good etiquette when using social media. It’s also easy for some people to share all different kinds of content online, while others may not feel as comfortable doing the same. While most people would agree that sharing a cute photo of a toddler or their teen granddaughter online is a fun way to share about their family, it’s always important to ask permission before sharing something that may be considered private to others.
5. Don’t Let Ads Lead You Astray
As social media has become a worldwide phenomenon over the last several years, it has also become a major outlet for kinds of different advertisers. While this can be a harmless annoyance that you have to deal with as you scroll through your feed, you should still be careful when you shop online. Only click on links that you trust and never purchase from an online store that doesn’t seem legitimate.
Safe online stores will always have a URL that begins with HTTPS and depending on the browser you use, you should see a padlock symbol as well. The padlock symbol indicates it is a safe website. Additionally, it’s always helpful to look for reviews on each website you visit to make sure that you’re buying from a trusted source.
6. Sharing Online is Permanent
One of the best ways to avoid blunders on the internet is to keep in mind that everything in the online world is permanent. While you can eventually delete your social media accounts, anyone can screenshot, print or save the words and photos that you share. So, if you wouldn’t want to look at something you’ve written in a year from now or share it with your children, you may want to think twice before you hit send.
7. Set Your Privacy Settings
One of the best ways to avoid falling victim to many popular scams on social media is to take the time to update all your privacy settings before you start sharing. In addition to turning off your GPS location, you can set your account to private (so that only people you add can see your posts), only allow requests from friends of friends and much more. In the world of social media, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep It Safe and Secure When Sharing Online
Today’s adults are better able to stay in touch and share their lives with others than ever before. With as many positives that social media use offers, there are still a few negatives that you should protect yourself against as well. At Havenwood Heritage Heights, we encourage our residents to explore the world of social media and share your experiences here in Concord with your loved ones as frequently as you desire. Interested in learning more about our luxury continuing care retirement community? Contact our friendly team online today.

This content was originally published here.