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Play it safe online

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It’s a good time to think about protecting your personal information while you’re online. Being online lets you follow the news, connect with friends and family, shop, manage finances, and more. Getting online may help reduce social isolation and increase independence for older adults – especially during the pandemic – but as we spend more time online, it’s important to stay safe.

Online safety tips

To protect yourself and your loved ones, here are three tips for Internet safety.

  1. Lock your devices just like you lock your front door. Use a passcode or fingerprint to lock your phone or tablet. If you have a computer, use a strong password that’s at least 12 characters long.
  2. Know the red flags of online scams. If someone contacts you and asks you to pay by wire transfer or gift card, don’t do it. It’s a scam.
  3. Share with care. Limit how much personal information you share online. Set your social media profiles to private. If someone asks to connect with you on social media, only accept their request if you know them.

Spread the word

We created a new fraud prevention placemat to help you share online safety tips with others. You can order posters and placemats to display at libraries, financial institutions, community centers, faith-based organizations, and legal aid offices. Download the handouts to share in e-mail newsletters or on your website. We also included black and white handouts you can download to make it even easier to print from home and share with friends and family.

Order free print copies in bulk or download PDFs (available in English and Spanish).

How to report a scam

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, whether it’s online or not, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at or by calling 1-800-FTC-HELP.

For more online safety tips, visit .

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