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Practicing “Digital Hygiene”

Thanks to the internet, we can keep in touch with our loved ones no matter where they are in the world. We can purchase home goods, conduct our banking, and even shop for our groceries without stepping out of the house!

Since the start of the new century, our society has become rapidly more connected with the ease and access of the internet; it isn’t surprising to say that research data supports this trend. According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of internet users aged 65 and up say they go online daily.

We encourage you to practice healthy digital hygiene by taking the following precautions when using the internet:

  • “Free” comes with a price. Public “free” wi-fi available at stores and cafes may be enticing, but you may find yourself vulnerable to hackers who sit in these networks and skim the information of connected users. If you’re looking to conduct personal or financial business on the go, it’s not worth the risk.
  • Share with care. The internet leaves a more permanent footprint than you may think. Even when information is manually deleted, web pages produce archived, cached versions and other users may screenshot information.
  • Shop with security in mind. When entering sensitive information online, look for a padlock symbol either at the bottom of the browser or next to the URL bar at the top. This means the website is secure and utilizes encryption.
  • Approach urgency with caution. If any information tries to influence you with urgency, verify using credible methods. For example, if you receive an email with a link stating your bank account has been locked, contact your bank using the number on your credit card instead of the link. If you receive messages regarding your Facebook account being closed, navigate to and search for their customer service number instead.

Get Informed

CalPERS is invested in ensuring our members have the tools they need to protect themselves online. If you would like to learn more on staying secure online, check out the resources below: