Seniors Outreach - February 7, 2018

“Loose lips sink ships.”

It is perhaps just that simple. There - that is the key to having a secure computer experience! If only it were that simple, we could all sit down at our computer today and be blissfully secure in the knowledge that everything is right with the world.

But, as we all are aware, anything that we become involved with in the world will have at least some challenges to deal with and in order to maintain our ability to use the items (in this case a computer), some diligence is required.

People across the country spend a lot of their time online,

And Canadians aged 65 and older represent the fastest growing group of internet users. Furthermore, among senior Internet users, approximately 70% go online every day (https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca - This is a government of Canada site).

That group is becoming a lot of people to educate about Cyber Security. Cyber or Computer safety is becoming a very important activity – especially for businesses in Canada and the world – but also for individuals (for those who are seniors and for those who dabble in it to those who personally use it for a small business, entertainment, emailing, health & wellness information, shopping, research, etc.)

Just one key aspect of cyber security (for seniors and others) is the choosing of a password. In a database listing of research on passwords, the top 20 Popular Passwords were: 1. 123456, 2. 12345, 3. 123456789, 4. Password, 5. Iloveyou, 6. Princess, 7. rockyou, 8. 1234567, 90. 12345678, 10. abc123, 11. Nicole, 12. Daniel, 13. babygirl, 14. monkey, 15. Jessica, 16. Lovely, 17. Michael, 18. Ashley, 19. 654321, 20. Qwerty. [https://wwww.lifewire.com/make-a-strong-password-2487422 –by Andy O’Donnell – Create an Effective Security Awareness Training Program]

In reviewing this, one begins to get the idea – many of us tend to pick the easiest and quickest password possible (going up and going down the keyboard).

The suggestion by the author of the article, Andy O’Donnell, is that one’s password should contain at least 12-15 characters and be made up of a mix of four different types of characters – upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters. And by the way, spend more time on developing the password because “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” If we do not take time to develop stronger security (such as better passwords – Loose Lips), our computers become more easily susceptible to intrusions that we do not wish to have happen (hacking – Sink Ships).

In order to provide some support to help seniors become more computer savvy, a presentation will be provided through Seniors Outreach during the February and March monthly information meetings in some of the Seniors Drop-In Centres in Kneehill County. Look for the information as it becomes available or contact Seniors Outreach at 403-443-2555.

Remember – By learning, we empower ourselves. By sharing, we empower everyone else. (V. Thomson)