Tips & Education

Internet Resources and Tips for Staying Safe Online for Seniors

July 24th, 2023

CRISTA Senior Living Blog - Internet Resources

Internet access is a given in today’s world, and it’s not just for young people and working professionals. More than 73% of adults aged 65 and older use the Internet regularly. Seniors find it a helpful tool for gaining information and skills, communicating with loved ones, and entertainment.

CRISTA Senior Living recognizes that our residents want to take advantage of the latest technology to stay in touch with friends and family, learn new things, and find entertaining shows to watch. We provide free internet access for residents in the common areas and libraries of Cristwood in Shoreline, WA. In addition, residents may purchase internet access and use it in their apartments.

The Cost of Internet Plans for Seniors

The cost of internet service can vary depending on the location, provider, and the specific plan chosen. Prices range from around $20 to $100 per month.

A family plan for cell phone and internet usage is a great way to reduce costs because the monthly fee can be divided among all members on the plan. If that’s not a possibility and finances are restricted, there are options for free or low-cost internet access for seniors who meet certain eligibility criteria. Those who qualify can also get free cell phone service.

Additionally, some internet service providers offer special plans and discounts for seniors. Be sure to check with local providers to see what options are available in your area. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Comcast Xfinity: Offers the Internet Essentials program, providing affordable internet access for eligible low-income seniors. You can find more information on their website: Comcast Xfinity Internet Essentials

  • AT&T: Offers the Access from AT&T program, which provides low-cost internet service to qualifying seniors. You can learn more about their senior discount program on their website: AT&T Access for Seniors

  • Spectrum: Provides the Spectrum Internet Assist program, offering low-cost internet service to eligible seniors. You can find more information about their program on their website: Spectrum Internet Assist and additional details on The Senior List.

Staying Safe on the Internet

Internet Resources

As much as the internet is a great resource, the online world also presents risks and challenges. To keep your personal information secure and prevent privacy breaches, follow these tips and best practices:

  • Keep Your Software Updated: Software updates often include security patches that address vulnerabilities hackers can exploit. Enable automatic updates whenever possible to ensure you have the latest protection against emerging threats.
  • Create Strong and Unique Passwords: A strong password is your first line of defense against unauthorized access. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like your name, birth date, or simple words. Additionally, create unique passwords for each online account to prevent a domino effect if one account is compromised.
  • Exercise Caution with Email: Email phishing scams are a prevalent method used by cybercriminals to trick people into revealing private information. Never give personal information through email or click on links that look suspicious. Your bank will never ask for information this way. Avoid opening attachments from unknown senders, as they may contain malware. Verify the legitimacy of email senders and double-check email addresses for any discrepancies.
  • Be Careful on Social Media: While social media platforms connect us with friends and family, they also expose us to privacy risks. Review and adjust your privacy settings to limit the amount of personal information visible to the public. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. And never share your address, phone number, or any other personal information.
  • Practice Safe Browsing Habits: Stick to trusted and reputable websites for online transactions and verify the presence of SSL encryption (https://) when submitting sensitive information. Use a reliable antivirus program that can detect and block malicious websites. Be skeptical of pop-up windows or unexpected downloads, as they may contain malware.
  • Secure Your Wi-Fi Network: Secure your home Wi-Fi network with a strong, unique password. Change the default router login credentials to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, consider using Wi-Fi encryption, such as WPA2, to protect the data transmitted over your network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive activities like online banking, as these networks are more vulnerable to attacks.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Family: Stay informed about current online threats and educate yourself and your family members about internet safety practices. Discuss the risks associated with sharing personal information online and consider purchasing a program to protect your grandchildren online.

With these resources and advice for online safety, you can embrace the digital world with confidence. Remember, staying vigilant, being proactive, and continuously educating yourself are key components of maintaining a safe and enjoyable journey in the vast realm of the internet.

When in doubt, be sure to ask someone you trust for advice or help. The staff at CRISTA Senior Living are always available for residents who have questions or need help with the internet and other issues.

We would love to talk with you about your future plans. Please contact [CRISTA Senior Living]( ‘Visit CRISTA Senior Living”) to take a tour of our beautiful communities.

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What People Are Saying …

I would like to commend Cristwood Park staff on their efforts to protect themselves and their residents from COVID. It’s been a concern of ours since last March and we have been relieved to see so few cases in the Cristwood Park community. I would like to thank the staff and leadership for their diligence in maintaining good protocols throughout this pandemic.

CWP Family Member

CRISTA has been a warm, friendly atmosphere to be a part of these past two years. It encourages friendships that encourage a pleasant living environment.

Marty Victor, CWP

Exceptional personalized holistic care. Helps keep Mom’s mind active and she flourishes with the nurturing care. Especially of value currently given the COVID restrictions. We are genuinely pleased with our mom's care.

Resident's Daughter, Memory Care

Thinking back on all the great care you and your team have given her at CRISTA, we thank you for all that. I am sure it made a difference in the quality of her life.

I appreciate the personal relationship I have with the staff and the good communication they give me.

I am so stunned by all the amazing people who live at CRISTA. The depth of their stories, their experiences are so powerful. They are fascinating and I learn something new every day! Such a wealth of intellect, experiences, and fun loving people. I love living here.

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