The Internet offers us some amazing benefits—we can communicate instantly with loved ones, share priceless moments with friends, quickly pay bills and experience a level of convenience never before available. But with this ever-expanding world of access to information and resources, it’s important to stay educated on how to protect ourselves and our privacy online.
According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security, many of the crimes that occur in real life are now done or facilitated through the Internet. Theft, abuse, and more can now all be done online. Particularly alarming is the fact that many scammers target older adults and prey upon their vulnerability via emails and websites in such forms as charitable donations, dating services, auctions, health care, and prescription medicine.
Consider these statistics affecting older Americans today:
- 59% of Americans aged 65 and above are reported to use the Internet [i]
- Only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse are brought to the attention of authorities [ii]
In 2010, for every incident of violent crime, three incidents of Internet crime were committed against seniors [iii]
Older adults lost $2.9 billion to financial abuse in 2011 [iv]
What is the Piers Project?
Through education, training, and the use of technologies that promote Internet safety the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing hopes to facilitate greater awareness of cyber security issues affecting older adults. The Piers Project is funded by a gift from the family estate of Ellie Piers to benefit the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s (CIW) ongoing mission of using technology to enhance wellbeing among older adults. Piers lived at Carlsbad By The Sea, a Front Porch retirement community in Carlsbad, CA.
Who will be participating?
There will be a panel representing several different organizations participating, including cyber security experts and senior service providers. The panel will address key issues/topics of cyber security among the older adult population.
Just a few of our partners that will be joining the conversation are:
- AARP Fraud Watch Network (@aarpca)
- HelloTech (@hellotech)
- Serving Seniors (@servingseniors)
- St. Barnabas Senior Services (@SBSSla)
Why join and follow the chat live?
To gain more knowledge and share our findings with older adults, senior service providers, and others in the field of aging. The Piers Project initiative is our call to action!
Some sample questions discussed throughout the live chat will be:
Q1 What do you think are some common online/email scams targeting seniors today?
Q2 What makes older adults vulnerable to online fraud?
Q3 What do you think contributes to the growing number of unreported fraud among older adults?
Q4 What can we do to help seniors avoid fear of using the Internet and promote safe online behavior?
Q5 What are some best practices in online safety that older adults can use to better protect themselves?
Q6 What can organizations serving older adult communities do to help spread awareness of cyber security and elder abuse online?
Q7 What educational resources or tips would you suggest for the preservation of cyber security?
Come prepared for a meaningful dialogue and sharing of ideas, information, tools and helpful tips!
How do you join?
Join @FrontPorchCS and search for #SrCyberChat on Thursday, October 6th from 10-11:00 A.M. Pacific Standard Time. For more information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month visit the Department of Homeland Security Website.