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Middleton Guardian - - MIDDLETON PEOPLE -

STAY­ING Safe On So­cial Me­dia IN this in­stal­ment, I will be pro­vid­ing you with some use­ful tips on keep­ing older peo­ple safe on so­cial me­dia...

Tech­nol­ogy sur­rounds us in our daily lives in al­most ev­ery­thing we do.

It has not only in­flu­enced the way in which we com­mu­ni­cate, share in­for­ma­tion and com­plete daily tasks but a re­cent re­port sug­gests that it may even help to com­bat iso­la­tion and lone­li­ness in older peo­ple and im­prove their men­tal health.

It’s es­ti­mated that 60 per cent of peo­ple aged 65 and over have ac­cess to the in­ter­net at home. The Of­fice of Na­tional Sta­tis­tics re­port that 23pc of adults in Great Bri­tain aged 65 and over use the in­ter­net for so­cial networking. Not only are the sil­ver-surfers get­ting to grips with email­ing but they’re also log­ging on to plat­forms such as Face­book, Twit­ter, and Skype to stay in touch with friends and fam­ily mem­bers. Many peo­ple are also play­ing on­line games, paint­ing, shar­ing pic­tures on sites such as Pin­ter­est and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with like-minded in­di­vid­u­als on on­line in­ter­est groups. So, with this in mind, here are a few tips on how to stay so­cially ac­tive but savvy:

1. Cre­ate a strong pass­word – use a com­bi­na­tion of let­ters, cap­i­tals and num­bers.

2. Use dif­fer­ent pass­words for so­cial me­dia sites and fi­nan­cial / pay­ment sites.

3. Keep your pass­words some­where safe but not ob­vi­ous.

4. Share a lim­ited amount of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on so­cial sites.

5. Never give out your ad­dress or fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion.

6. En­sure set­tings are set to pri­vate, not pub­lic – so only friends can see your in­for­ma­tion.

7. Never agree to meet some­one with­out let­ting a rel­a­tive know first.

8. Never give some­body you meet over the in­ter­net money.

9. When join­ing paid for so­cial net­works only en­ter your card de­tails on se­cure and rep­utable web­sites – look out for the pad­lock icon on the pay­ment page.

10. Use your com­mon sense, if some­one you meet seems too good to be true, there’s prob­a­bly a strong pos­si­bil­ity that they aren’t gen­uine.

I’d love to hear from you. We also wel­come any sug­ges­tions for fu­ture top­ics. Write to me at david.brad­shaw@ home­in­stead.co.uk, or by post to Jape One Busi­ness Cen­tre, Dell Road, Shaw­clough, Rochdale, OL12 6BZ.

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