Online safety / January 09, 2023

Helping seniors stay safe in our digital world

Nimmi Kanji

Nimmi Kanji

Director - Social Purpose Programs, For Good and TELUS Wise

Helping seniors stay safe in our digital world - Article Image

Whether it’s navigating online shopping, avoiding common scams or even remaining connected with loved ones through digital platforms, seniors may face challenges navigating the online world. With added issues like loneliness and isolation, as well as an increased sense of winter blues at this time of year, it’s important we all do our part to help them stay safely connected in our digital world.

Census data shows almost one in four Canadians aged 65 and older live alone and about half over the age of 80 report feeling lonely, according to a report from the National Seniors Council.

With this in mind, Linda Hoang, Influencer and TELUS Wise advocate, sat down with David Handelman, Board Member of BC 411 Seniors Centre Society and Stephanie Senecal, Senior Support Unit Coordinator at the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre to discuss how to best support seniors as we enter 2023.

View the panel discussion

Here are a few key takeaways:

1. Address social isolation and loneliness: Numerous studies have linked loneliness to health issues including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, mental health struggles, and the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia. There’s no doubt about it—staying connected socially improves your overall physical health and mental health, regardless of age. Technology can play a critical role in helping connect seniors and ultimately, reduce feelings of isolation and the associated risks.

2. Identify common scams - what are the warning signs and how can you protect yourself? Did you know that as of Oct 31, 2022, there have been over 75,000 reports of fraud, over 47,800 victims of fraud and $420.8M lost to fraud? Visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre to browse recent scams and fraud, learn more about how to protect yourself as well as what to do if you’re a victim of fraud. One common trend is spoofing, which is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity or trick you into thinking the caller is someone they aren’t. To protect yourself from unwanted robocalls enable call control on your home or mobile phone.

3. Support seniors with digital literacy: Learn about everything from connecting to the Internet to video chatting in the TELUS Wise online basics video series or check out the TELUS Wise seniors guide to learn more. For more tips on how to help support the development of digital literacy skills amongst seniors click here.

Check out the full conversation here.

Online banking & shopping
Frauds & scams
Identity theft
Seniors & tech
Prevention & support
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