Date: January 22, 2021

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

A smartphone is extremely helpful if your parents like to spend time in their yard or going for walks. It gives them a way to call someone if they need help. It also allows you to track their location if they’re gone for too long.

Smartphones do require some knowledge of how to use them safely. They do connect to the internet, so the risk of viruses and malware are a factor. Smartphones also offer email and texting, which makes it possible for scammers to reach out to your parents. That’s why you need to teach them how to use their smartphone in a safe, responsible manner.

Run Security Scans

If your mom and dad have a computer, they should have a security software package that scans and protects against spyware, viruses, malware, etc. Many allow you to use a USB cable to connect your phone to your computer to run a scan of your smartphone. Your parents should do that regularly.

They may not have a computer. If that’s the case, you can install a security app. Look for one that gets good reviews and doesn’t take up too much space. Run it regularly.

Photos and Personal Data Doesn’t Disappear for Good When It’s Deleted

One mistake people make when they delete photos or scans of documents is to think those items are gone for good. Even after a factory reset, there are ways to get the files from the hard drive.

When your parents need a new phone or want to upgrade to the latest model, they need to be careful where that phone goes. They want to make sure the recycling company destroys data before refurbishing or shreds and recycles the plastic, glass, and metal pieces.

Advise Them to Ignore Links

If they ever get an email or instant message from an unknown person that contains a link, they shouldn’t click that link. They need to be certain that the link is safe.

They also need to be cautious of links friends and family send them. Scammers can spoof numbers and emails to make them appear to be legitimate. Before opening one from a friend or family member, they need to verify that person really sent it.

Is the Smartphone a Substitute for Friends?

Should your parents be alone all day? Do they struggle with daily activities of living if you’re not there to help them? Do they often complain of having no one to talk to when you’re at work or busy with your family?

If any of that is true, senior care services are important. Your parents can have caregivers for companionship. They can have a trained caregiver helping with meal preparation, housework, and laundry. Call a senior care agency to learn about the services available to them.

Date: January 22, 2021