People over the age of 65 are one of the fastest-growing groups using the Internet and according to Barbados’ leading telecommunications provider, potential dangers could be lurking just after the next click for this particular age group.
“As the Internet becomes more accessible and user-friendly, seniors and retirees are spending more and more time online and this presents some specific challenges, as this particular group is oftentimes targeted by online threats,” said Marilyn Sealy, Senior Manager, Communications, Southern Cluster, Flow.
“From a service provider perspective, our goal is to equip users with the knowledge and tools to help safeguard themselves while online. The Internet provides excellent opportunities, but it also opens the door to some unwanted elements and many times these elements can be avoided completely.”
The messages come against the backdrop of Safer Internet Day, which was this year celebrated on February 11th under the theme Together for a better Internet. To mark the occasion, Flow hosted a ‘tech talk’ with over 40 members of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) at its Mervue House headquarters in Marine Gardens, Hastings.
In the past, the telecoms provider has celebrated Safer Internet Day by hosting forums with media professionals and the students and teachers of Welches Primary, one of the company’s adopted schools.
“The more time someone spends online, the more opportunities they have to share information about themselves, so we are urging the over-65 age group to be especially mindful about never sharing their password or account numbers over an e-mail or instant message, along with not opening links from e-mails when conducting financial transactions,” said Greg Morris, Tech Expert, Flow Barbados.
“In general, we are also reminding all internet users to be wary of callers, pop-ups, websites or e-mails asking for personal information, and to immediately file a report with law enforcement officials and notify the relevant authorities if there is ever an incident or a suspicion of identity theft,” he added.
Marilyn Rice-Bowen, President of BARP, which is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary, thanked Flow for what she described as a “timely and informative” presentation.
“We enjoy a very good working relationship with Flow and from time to time they engage us on relevant topics, as our members are using the Internet more and more to take advantage of its many facilities. Of course, using the World Wide Web today presents certain challenges, so it was very timely to be reminded of the best practices, especially as it was Safer Internet Day,” she said. (PR)