Tips for Seniors on Smartphone Safety

Do you remember rotary dials, party lines and pay phones? These days, the world is just a touchscreen away. The technology is fascinating but for seniors especially, it’s important to balance convenience with security and privacy precautions. The following three tips will help you enjoy all the benefits smartphones offer, worry free:

  1. Be App Safe

From games and daily planners to health care and transportation solutions, there are apps for almost any need. But some have been designed to gain access to personal data.

Limit risks by first, only downloading apps from trusted sources, such as Google Play and the Apple App Store, and also by choosing strong privacy settings, paying attention to permission settings, and disabling tracking features, like GPS, when not in use. And remember to keep your device operating system up-to-date so you have the latest security software.

  1. Don’t Talk to Strangers

Your phone connects you with loved ones, but it can also expose you to scams and online predators.

“Criminals often target seniors with text messages, emails, and social media messages promising too-good-to-be-true investments, contests, or low-cost medications,” explains Shelly Smith, director of Telus Wise. “Typically, these are supported with professional websites and seemingly legitimate company names, so it’s no wonder they work.”

Trivia and other games texted directly to you also pose a threat. Simply opening these can incur major fees. As a rule of thumb, never engage with unknown senders or click suspicious links – and never transfer money to strangers.

  1. Protect Yourself in Case of Smartphone Loss

Before your smartphone goes missing, you can safeguard your information in a few ways. Invest in a warranty program. Install software that allows you to remotely erase data – some devices already have this built in. Create strong passwords using acronyms, combinations of letters and numbers, and different cases and special characters. But what if the smartphone disappears?

“Immediately contact your phone company,” says Smith. “They can help you find or replace it promptly.”

Your smartphone opens up countless possibilities so combine these tips with common sense to stay safe while you stay connected. Learn more about smartphone safety for seniors at