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a couple at risk of elderly identity theft
Posted on January 26, 2017 by in Children & Families, Identity & Privacy, Personal

Those of us who are a bit more technically savvy than others often become the go-to resource for all things digital in our families – whether we like it or not. Here are some tips and tactics that will make your role a bit more manageable and help you protect against elderly identity theft in the process.

Schedule Routine Backups

  • Create three backups for extra insurance.
  • These three backups should have two different formats, like two of any of the following: flash drive, dropbox, DVD, external hard drive, etc.
  • One of the backups should be offsite. You can use one of the many available remote backup services that our there – many of which cost under $100/year.
  • Backups should be done at least every 24 hours, and should take place automatically.

Run Operating System Updates

  • Schedule your operating system updates to take place during a time when you won’t need to use your computer, so that you’re not inconvenienced by them. I’d recommend having the updates run daily, at 3am or so.
  • It’s typically best to stick to the default update settings because often times, the more selective you are about what’s updated and what’s not, the more work it will be for you.

Make Sure the Computer Has Security Software

  • Every device you own should have up-to-date protection against viruses and malware.
  • You should regularly run system scans to make sure that there is nothing infecting your device. Like your operating system’s updates, these can often be automated and scheduled to run during a time that is convenient for you.
  • Don’t rely on free software. The added features and benefits of a paid solution is well worth the price for the increased security that it can provide.

Remove Bloatware

  • Uninstall any programs that aren’t currently being used so that the computer runs more efficiently.
  • Unnecessary programs are often referred to as “bloatware.” There are several recommended tools that can help you remove these programs —many of which were pre-installed by the computer manufacturer.
  • Then try Revo Uninstaller (for Windows) or AppCleaner (for Mac); these will discard any residual data.
  • Also consider using a program like CCleaner to keep your PC running smoothly.

Update Browsers and Extensions

  • Old versions of browsers do not automatically update; it is best to use a modern web browser. Google’s Chrome browser is the most seamless browser that updates automatically.
  • Delete all unnecessary extensions and plug-ins. Make sure that browser extensions are not malware in disguise.

Remote Management Tool Installation

  • Consider using Teamviewer; this allows you to remotely connect to a computer to aid the user.
  • This eliminates tension-filled phone calls where your instructions to the user in need are not being understood.


  • Go to to run a bandwidth test.
  • This will help you know what the baseline broadband speed is, as a reference point if Mom complains that her computer is running slowly.

Do this all first on your own PC so that you’ll be familiar with the process and better able to assist those who aren’t as technically savvy as you are.

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