By: Cindy Lynn Sawyer
How to Protect Yourselves and Your Loved Ones
The older generation is the fastest growing age group to hit the social media scene. According to the 2014 Facebook Demographic Report, “The biggest growth came among adults over the age of 55. Facebook added 12.4 million new users from this age range, a massive 80.4 percent growth.” Joining an online community can be a huge step if you were raised without the ever-changing Internet. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media provide opportunities to connect with family and cultivate a sense of belonging. While socializing, you will run across coupons, travel opportunities, product updates, tips and entertainment. But, there is also the fear of falling prey to scammers. How strong are your cybercrime self-defense skills? South Bend Police Department’s Legal Advisor, Eric Tamashasky, works with the Cybercrimes against Children Unit and gives presentations on Internet safety. He noted that seniors possess certain traits that can make them vulnerable targets for cybercrimes. “If I get a call from a salesperson, I hang up on them,” Tamashasky said. Seniors tend to be friendlier toward strangers and offer a greater level of courtesy than the younger generation. But in reality, clicking delete can be your best defense. Before a burglar breaks into a home, he cases his target. Online predators use the same strategy, except these criminals hide in cyberspace. Cybercrimes pose a huge challenge for law enforcement because sources are often too difficult to track.
NOVEMBER 2015 | boom