Senior Internet Safety: How to avoid Scams & Viruses

Senior Internet Safety: How to avoid Scams & Viruses

The Internet is a wonderful tool that allows for us to be able to search for the answers to any question that we may have. From looking up a new recipe to finding a way to safely getting up the stairs there is a huge amount of information & entertainment to be found online.

However, there are a lot of people who prey on vulnerable groups who may not be so tech savvy, putting people into difficult situations where they are threatened with releasing sensitive information or stealing money from their bank account.

Today, we are going to share vital information about avoiding scams and viruses online so that you can have peace of mind whilst browsing the internet.

Scams & How to avoid them

What is a scam?

A scam is a dishonest scheme that is used to get something from you. Whether it’s your money or personal information, the goal of a scam is for you to give away something by exploiting an emotion such as intrigue or fear.

Scams come in many different shapes & sizes. From dodgy links from email addresses or a redirect to a suspicious looking website there are multiple different ways that can lead people into a scam.

3 Tips for avoiding a Scam

  1. Don’t download something unless its from a source you were directly looking for: If you have been redirected to a website that you are not familiar with and it is trying to get you to download a piece of software, an image or another file. Do not download it & leave the page immediately.
  2. Do not give your information to someone who is untrustworthy: If a strange or unrecognized email address is asking for personal information such as your name, your address or any banking information. Do not give it to them.
  3. If It’s too good to be true, it most likely is: If there is an opportunity that looks too good to be true, such as someone offering you a large amount of money if you give them a small donation. in 99.9% of cases that person will take that small donation & run with it. Avoid taking part in an online opportunity if it is offering a large payout for very little input or effort as these are most likely scams that are being sent to a large amount of people in the hopes that somebody takes part.

A phishing link is a link that looks like it is a legitimate link from a reputable sources, but is in reality a scammers link. The goal of a phishing link is for you to input personal and sensitive data into their fake copy of a website like your password so that they can get access to your account.

Phishing links are especially sneaky because they disguise their suspicious emails as legitimate ones from sources such as a bank or a service that you regularly use.

Senior Internet Safety: How to avoid Scams & Viruses

Phishing addresses in the real world may not be as obvious as the address above. They may be a random string of characters or perhaps even a very small discrepancy such as a single letter missing. Regardless you should double check the URL to look out for telltale signs that the page you are on is not legitimate.

  1. Disconnect your device from the internet immediately. Clicking on a phishing link may cause a virus or software that will track your keyboard & mouse inputs onto your device.
  2. Create a backup of your important files. Put your most important files onto a USB stick & eject it safely from your computer.
  3. Scan your device with an AntiVirus software. Doing this will allow for any viruses or untrustworthy software to be picked up on & dealt with appropriatley.
  4. Change your Passwords. Once your system has been proven to be safe, reset all of your important passwords for your accounts as they may be compromised.

3 Things to do when receiving Important emails

  1. Double check the URL before you input any information: If you receive an email from somewhere such as your bank. Make sure that the URL at the top of your browser is what it is supposed to be & that it doesn’t have any spelling mistakes or unusual characters.
  2. Make sure that you are expecting that email: If you receive a surprise email from a bank (as an example) that requests immediate action & threatens you with legal action, check to make sure you are expecting an email regarding the topic in question. If you are not there is a chance that it is a phishing email that is trying to get you to put in your banking information.
  3. Check for any discrepancies in the website itself: If the layout & design of the website you are used to visiting is very different, unprofessional or has broken English in any text there is a high likelihood that you have visited a phishing website. Avoid inputting any information & leave the page immediately.

Avoiding Viruses

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is a piece of software that is made to be intentionally harmful to your system. They have been made for malicious intent & they are sometimes used to hold individuals or businesses at ransom.

Computer Viruses infect systems through downloads from the internet. This is why it is very important to make sure that any downloads that occur are ones that you are fully in control of.

3 Tips for avoiding Viruses

  1. Avoid Downloads from Untrustworthy Websites: If you notice that you have accessed a website & it has automatically started a download, cancel that download or delete the file immediately. Once that has been done leave the website immediately.
  2. Install Trusted & well known Antivirus Software: Find an antivirus software with real reviews online that have had videos made about it by real people on YouTube. Checking multiple social media platforms for information is ideal for confirming if that Antivirus software is to be trusted.
  3. Do not give Administrative Access to Software that doesn’t need it: For new & unrecognized software that you do not trust fully, do not give it administrative access as this may lead to it having full access to the inner workings of your operating system.

Attend In person IT training

If you would like further IT training & advice on how to navigate the internet safely. You could attend an in person IT training session to get in person advice from someone who has a vast amount of experience with using the internet in a safe and secure way.


We hope that the information provided to you has provided you with more knowledge on how to stay safe whilst using the Internet. At Senior Stairlifts we want to provide our customers with the best experience possible when it comes to getting a new stairlift. From our friendly in house customer service team to our professional & hard working engineers we strive to provide a fast & clean service.

If you would be interested in getting a new stairlift, having one maintained or having a stairlift removed, please contact Senior Stairlifts for more information.