Move over net generation, you are not the only ones on social networking.
It's been shown in studies that people over 50 that can use a computer and access the internet appear to be less depressed then peers their age and it may also help with ongoing mental health because of the social access and ability to read information about events, hobbies and interests that might otherwise not be available.
AARP did a recent report of the 50+ set and found that this age group is increasingly embracing social-networking sites. According to a polly released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project said usage has grown to almost 42% of this age group uses the internet with 1 in 4 engaging in social networking.
23% are using Facebook.
17% of this group said they are "extremely comfortable" with the internet and 23% are "very comfortable", only 9% said "not very comfortable" and 13% said "not at all".
This is all great news but it also leaves this group vulnerable to spam and scams.
In general, the "old school" rules still apply:
1. Don't talk to strangers
2. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is
3. You don't take candy from strangers so don't open files or links sent to you by strangers
Top 3 scams to worry about for the 50+?
1-Opening "greeting cards", clicking on links, or opening files that are really spam or filled with viruses
2-Emails about sweepstakes and winning the lottery
3-Clicking on pop up windows that say the computer is not protected and by clicking the notification it will be
Protections for the 50+:
1. Never click on links or open files, even if you know the sender, without asking them about it first
2. Up to date virus protection, browser software, and operating software
3. If you don't remember entering a sweepstakes or lottery, you probably did not
4. Never send bank account information via email or social networking sites
5. Consider an internet class at your local library or community college
6. Ignore pop ups and set your browser settings to block pop ups will eliminate most of these pesky ads and scareware
The Senior's Guide to Computers
"Older Folks Get Into Social Media - An AARP survey of 50-plusers finds more than one in four using online social networking", Mark Dolliver, AdWeek, June 15, 2010.
"Social Media Use for Older Adults Continues to Rise", Roy Wells, SocialMediaToday.com, August 30, 2010.