IT Sample

Cybersecurity and the Elderly
Cybersecurity and the Elderly
Technology is a young man’s game, however, it impacts everyone in society.
Therefore, it is imperative that even the older generation gets on board to safeguard themselves
against the dangers of technology. While technology has come with several benefits it has also,
brought new challenges to the world. Cyber security attacks pose the greatest threat. By
definition, cyber security is the protection of computer data, systems or networks (Goud, 2017).
They say that prevention is better than cure and, this saying has been evidenced by the recent
losses suffered by Sony when they were hacked and lost a lot of money in the process.
Additionally, the recently concluded American presidential election was marred by allegations of
hacking by Russian authorities sparking tension between arguably the two most powerful nations
in the world. Such is the dangers of cybercrime and given that powerful entities are vulnerable it
only shows how important it is for everyone to remain vigilant (Goud, 2017). Consequently, in
this paper, I will look into the cybercrime complexities and how the elderly can protect
themselves from it.
Cybersecurity Threats Analysis
According to the Open Web Application Security Project ([OWASP], 2017), the top ten
web application security vulnerabilities are; injection, cross-site scripting, broken authentication
and session management, insecure direct object referencing, cross-site request forgery, security
misconfiguration, insecure cryptographic storage, failure to restrict URL access, insufficient
transport layer protection and invalidated redirects and forwards. This only represents threats to
web applications and with the increasing reliance on mobile phones, the threats will only get
broader. Additionally, in 2012, approximately 53% of Americans aged 65 years and above had a
connection to the internet and email accounts. This marked an increase in the prevalence rate of
the internet among the elderly (Goud, 2017).
Cybercriminals’ Techniques
Cybercriminals’ greatest asset is ignorance. They prey on people’s lack of knowledge to
manipulate us into falling for their tricks. If you carefully look into the OWASP top ten, you will
notice that most of the hacks are not on a network level instead they are in your applications.
Hackers focus on hacking the person, not the machine. They do this using phishing, pharming,
the man in the middle and social engineering techniques (Perkins, 2014). Additionally, they
exploit some of the system vulnerabilities using viruses, worms, spyware, and Trojans. While
tech companies have launched a full assault against such attacks people remain to be the easiest
targets, especially the elderly. So, given their lack knowledge in tech matters, the elderly can
protect themselves using some techniques (Perkins, 2014).
How the Elderly can Protect Themselves
At the center of cybercrime is personal information. Protecting this information is as
important as knowing how to use the technology itself. The elderly can protect their information
by; selecting strong passwords, that are made up of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and
symbols, use of privacy settings in social media platforms, avoiding sending personal
information via emails to businesses, avoiding to click on pop-ups in web and mobile
applications, installing good anti-virus applications into their devices, updating software
frequently and ignoring the so-called “free” gifts messages in websites (Perkins, 2014).
Additionally, the elderly can further protect themselves by visit only reliable websites when
looking for information on the web. This can be done by checking for sites ending with .edu or
.gov when seeking official information on matters. Also, when online banking, they should use
their own personal devices at all time and never share social security information (Perkins,
2014). Finally, when visiting websites, checking for the https protocol to ensure they are in
secure network websites is important.
Knowledge is power and by keeping themselves abreast with the ever changing trends in
the world of cybersecurity will only help the elderly to better protect themselves. Also, when in
difficult situations asking and looking for professional help is always important. Finally,
cybersecurity is all about being vigilant.
Naveen, Goud. (2017). “How to Protect Elderly from Cyber Attacks?” Cybersecurity Insiders.
Retrieved from
Open Web Application Security Project. (2017). “OWASP Top Ten Project” OWASP.
Retrieved from
Perkins, Abby. (2-14). Cyber security Tips for seniors. SENIORS Guide. Retrieved from

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