Help with Technology and registering online accounts may protect them
After recent changes in an elderly family member’s mental state, it was necessary to start managing her affairs. She had no online presence and had always felt that kept her secure. She wanted nothing to do with technology and online banking as she had seen many news reports of hacking and scams. As we are several hundred miles away, it was important to setup online access to her investment and banking accounts to be able to manage and keep an eye on activity. Surprisingly enough, since she had no online access, it was very easy to setup the online accounts.
I was surprised at how little information was needed to set up these accounts. I would think of this often and it was concerning. Much of the information we needed to setup her online accounts is available on the web to the public. Add to this the additional information available due to data breaches with government and retail establishments and just some good guesses (most elderly have lived at the same address for many years), it would not have been that difficult to do even if I didn’t have her permission and information. Then, I came across this article by Brian Krebs addressing this issue. He explains how having no online accounts can leave one more vulnerable. It validated my initial concerns.
Reading this article may encourage you to help elderly family members and friends to set up online accounts. If nothing else, to protect their accounts a bit more and make it more difficult for scammers to create online accounts for them.