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Internet Safety

Most people think of Internet safety as something just for kids. But in the same way all of us need to be safe in RL ("RL" stands for real life, meaning offline), all of us need to be safe online and in the use of digital technologies, like cell phones, games devices and webcams.

Senior citizens are often the targets of criminals online and offline. Health, investment and retirement offer scams, identity theft, con artists posing as people seeking romance or companionship are typical. And many senior citizens are easy marks when online. They don't understand or use privacy settings, anti-virus technologies or guard their personal information online. They fall for phishing schemes and end up losing their life savings. And sometimes, when using offshore and illegal gambling sites wager and lose their pension funds too.

Adults, as adults, cyberdate, apply for jobs, use online banking and investment services, market their businesses and services and connect with long lost friends. But one part of their life may not work as well when shared with another. Your friends want to see your wild party antics, but your boss and kids might not. Your weird Uncle Jamie might play well in Oklahoma where the rest of your relatives are, but not as well as in Beverly Hills where you now live and work. And your new nose may not appear as new, until a high school friend posts a pic of you with your first nose. :-)

Kids will be kids and parents need to try and stay at least even with them. (We parents of grownup kids now realize that there is no such thing as staying ahead of them!) So, parents, grandparents and caretakers need to know how to protect everyone in their families as well as themselves.

Businesses have to understand their online reputation and protect it. And if they are offering digital technologies, networks or services need to be responsible, adopt and maintain best practices. Celebrities and VIPs have to make sure they are not being impersonated online.

Privacy and security are big parts of cybersafety. Everyone could be safer if they thought before they posted anything online, used privacy settings and read privacy policies and used a good anti-virus and firewall product.