Fulton County Government is trying to keep seniors safe on the web.
Nicole Keaton-Hart, Fulton County deputy chief information officer, led workshops this fall for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month to teach local seniors how to spot online cons. She said seniors are one of the most targeted groups for cyber scams.
“Seniors are viewed as being caring and compassionate. If they can play on those emotions too, then it’s certainly another avenue to target them,” Keaton-Hart said. “Better of half of the participants (in the workshops) had some sort of social media scam or phishing scam or had been a target of a scam.”
She said the workshops taught the importance of thinking before clicking and how to navigate social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, safely.
“We really focused on stopping, taking a minute to think about and then understanding whether the context of the request even makes sense,” she said. “That’s really looking at, ‘Why should I do this?'”
Even though the cybersecurity workshops have concluded, Keaton-Hart said future Fulton County senior center classes will incorporate cybersecurity tips.
She said if seniors are dealing with an online scam, they should talk through it with someone or visit Stop.Think.Connect’s website, which is an anti-phishing and cyber security online resource. Some cybersecurity tips that Stop.Think.Connect emphasizes include:
- Don’t click unknown links or open unknown attachments.
- Keep your cybersecurity computer software up-to-date.
- Don’t buy into any “free” prizes.
- Keep track of your cell phone.
- Make sure that your password is strong and has a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.