Seniors are the fastest growing group of Internet users, but as the newest users they also tend to have the least online experience. Consumer fraud is the fastest growing type of crime in the country, with the Internet one of the prime targets. Seniors are particularly susceptible to this type of crime.
This summer Verizon teamed with two organizations serving seniors to promote Internet safety for adults aged 50 and older. New Jersey state legislators and Verizon officials participated in both events.
JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly and the Franklin Township Community and Senior Center in Somerset hosted the events. These were just two of several events planned to educate seniors about Internet safety.
"Providing a safe online environment for New Jersey families, particularly those with older adults, is a priority for Verizon," said Dennis Bone, Verizon New Jersey president. "We are proud to partner with these centers and area legislators to bring this valuable information to the community and to help ensure that seniors have enjoyable online experiences. I’m equally proud that Verizon's technology delivers innovative tools that allow seniors and their families to create the digital experience they need to feel safe and secure."
In Tenafly, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, spoke about their commitment to Internet safety, particularly for New Jersey seniors.
"This forum on Internet safety is a clear example of how policy makers can help make using the Internet an enjoyable and worthwhile experience," said Johnson. "As technology advances, we must continually look for new ways to ensure the Internet is an educational, entertaining and successful tool for all who use it."
"In this age of technology, when seniors are using the Internet more than ever, it's critical for us to have safeguards that protect them,” said Huttle. “Information is key as we work to provide seniors with knowledge and tools so that they and their families can use the Internet safely, securely and with complete confidence."
Sen. Loretta Weinberg, was unable to attend the event, but said in a statement: "Making sure my constituents are safe when they are using the Internet is an important priority for me. The Internet has revolutionized the way people communicate. It has also spawned security risks that didn't exist 20 years ago. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to Internet security fraud, and we must make sure they have knowledge and the tools to protect themselves against Web predators."
Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula spoke to the seniors in Somerset.
Thomas Dailey, vice president and deputy general counsel for Verizon, was one of the Verizon officials who gave a presentation on how seniors can safely take advantage of all the benefits of broadband and the Internet. He highlighted the online risks facing seniors today, and the ways to help avoid falling victim to Internet scams and other dangers.
"The Internet is a fantastic place to learn, communicate, meet people, shop, bank, play and do so much more,” said Daily. “But as wonderful as the Internet is, the fact is that on occasion people have their identities stolen, fall victim to fraud, or place themselves or their families at risk -- almost always through inadvertence or lack of appreciation of the danger's warning signs. The good news is that by following a few simple, common-sense rules, you can greatly reduce the risk of bad things happening."
Verizon is engaged in Internet safety on multiple fronts. The company provides customers with an industry-leading slate of online cyber-security tools and education programs to empower all users. Verizon offers a suite of computer security programs that can help keep consumers keep their computers, information and families safe from online threats, including viruses and spyware. Those resources and others, including free parental controls, can be found at the Verizon Parental Center.