Are you far away from your grandchildren and often want to hit them up on social networking sites? Do you feel less confident in understanding the ways to protect from online scams? Or have you ever been victimized due to demographics? Then you are no different than what I was once before, and here is what I have felt and how I came across that data theft issue.

Although social media a great way to stay in touch and meet and greet family and friends, all this comes at a price. Online privacy is often debated to be scarcer than ever as ads have sworn in with new possibilities and have started to risk the online privacy of many, including seniors.

Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, recently faced accusations surrounding online privacy and data theft. The allegations sparked a lot of conversations, especially after knowing that the gathered information was later sold to advertisers.

Baby boomers are not familiar with the trends of social media and the internet, making them the easiest target off hackers and snoopers. This article will first highlight how advertisers exploit social media and target senior citizens and later will tell you the ways using which you can protect yourself.

How Advertisers and Social Media Exploit the Unaware?

We face a ton of advertising online and offline in our daily lives. However, the online medium feels a little more targeted. The highways have billboards, and subways have posters, social however feeds on click-through ads which depend on the information on your profile.

For instance, while living in the USA, I have never experienced a French ad or a Spanish ad with their native language. It has always been English ads with brands that are 90% based in the US. The first time I realized that these ads are targeted and are customized to personal preference, I felt vulnerable.

I just once check in on Facebook from a foreign country, and when I got back to my country, all I was seeing was targeted ads from tourism companies and tourist destinations. Facebook knew where I was and what my personal preferences are.

 Since I was unaware of what was happening with me, I had no clue what to do. It was shocking for me that my vacations in Japan were being snooped by social networking sites, and the information was then sold to advertisers who in return were sending me targeted ads. Even I didn’t click on their ad but was, am and will be in the universe of algorithm which depicts that I once traveled to Japan and am a travel freak.

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim?

Since online advertisements are targeting the users more than ever, the cost of privacy online is going higher and higher day by day. Seniors are the most vulnerable to be exploited by advertisers.

Since seniors are less tech-savvy as compared to any other age group, and they are less likely to be to protect them online. Even if you hardly use any credit cards or do not trust internet banking until then, it is important to follow basic guidelines.

Staying atop of your online privacy is essential and is a need of time in the age where money-hungry advertisers are preying on social media to get their desired results.

Here is how you can avoid being a victim online;

1. Only enter your personal information on secure websites

2. Monitor your bank statements regularly

3. Do not trust anyone asking for your personal information

4. Use incognito mode in Google Chrome

5. Protect your devices with an antivirus

6. Monitor your credit card reports

7. get anonymous using a VPN

How to Stay a Top of the Changing Trends?

If you have ample of time in your life and are from that 1% of people who read the entire disclaimer when signing up then kudos to you, it is a common practice to accept terms and conditions and click “Agree simply”.

Important details are often documented in lengthy terms and services. Plus the most important ones are written with a smaller font. These terms and conditions often change, so just be sure to check their ToS frequently.

If you understand the trickery and conditions in terms of service (ToS) then after you signup considers reading the social media website’s privacy and security policy. The more you tend to post online, the more important you will feel to what you have agreed to.

Reviewing your settings is crucial; it will keep you protected from sharing your data without your consent and will also refrain advertisers to snoop in your search history.

How to Understand Policies and Stay Away from Procrastinations?

Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media sites appreciate users to tweak their profile settings. This is why they make these settings prominent and easy to find in the profile. Occasionally when I used to log in my Facebook or Linked In the account, I am notified about updating the user settings. 

Although it is a positive sign and a good business practice that will encourage a baby boomer-aged 60 and odd to tweak these settings?

It is very easy to procrastinate that social media is unsafe and violates privacy regulations. The social media giants, on the contrary, seek to provide full control to the users. It is users who are unaware of what is in their control.

Out of 4.4 billion internet users, 3.4 billion are active on social media. These numbers tend to increase with every second. You need to keep an eye on your settings and tweak it as per your needs.

Some young guns will have different uses for online sharing. If you still have someone who is a tech savvy and you can trust them then be sure to ask them how to set up the preference manually in addition to setting up initially.

Ask yourself these questions;

What have you don’t to eliminate the concern about online security?

Do you know how to tweak settings and protect your online privacy?

Share your feedback and ask questions in the comments sections below, I will be eager to respond.

Peace out.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Lack of Awareness Resulting in Data Theft among Baby Boomers by Phill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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