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A comment on Dana Connors’ March 23 column in the Bangor Daily News, “New program can help more afford internet access”: Yes, everyone should have high-speed internet! It is a wonderful thing if you fully understand how to safely use it, which is one reason why seniors hesitate to get online.
They should hesitate. Hackers (spoofers) are getting better and better at luring the uninformed into clicking on something that will give hackers access to bank accounts, passwords, Paypal, Amazon, documents, email, photos and more. Who knows how many seniors or others who are not so internet savvy have internet access and have been scammed but are too embarrassed to tell anyone.
Seniors in underserved areas who will soon have access should have someone with lots of experience to show them how to stay safe and reduce the chances of being hacked or scammed. New threats pop up every week.
If I lived in one of these underserved towns, given my 45 years of knowledge about the internet and how computers work, I would offer free help to any senior who asked. There is so much information that needs to be shared. Areas like Portland, Bangor, and other more populated areas have access to resources like free classes to learn the ins and outs of having a computer and internet access.
One should not own a gun until one understands basic firearm safety. No one should get connected without some sort of education on internet safety. A great deal of harm can be done with both without some basic knowledge. My advice to anyone, but especially seniors, is don’t do it until you have a go-to person to take your hand and keep you safe.