New digital safety book aims to protect seniors from online scams
Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud.
And a Windsor computer technician tired of seeing it happen over and over is doing something about it.
“It is multiple scams per week and I’m only one person in one shop,” says Kevin Cosgrove, a computer technician at PC Outfitters in Windsor. “I can see in Essex County, there are dozens per day, every day, day after day and it’s just getting bigger.”
Just this year, 43,230 Canadians have already fallen victim to a scam, with nearly $200 million lost in those fraudulent transactions. That’s double the rate from 2020 and Cosgrove says many of those victims are seniors.
“We tend to believe what’s in front of us,” says Lloyd Brown-John, who is the director of Elder College. “We haven’t gotten used to the idea that this medium allows people to abuse us and to steal from us."
Over the years, Brown-John has turned to Cosgrove to teach classes on computer literacy.
But with scam activity at an all-time high, Cosgrove decided to put his lessons into his first ever book.
“That’s really why I take time to do this stuff, because no matter what I can’t seem to reach enough people and that’s probably the biggest thing I’d like to take care of is getting this message out anyway,” he says.
Cosgrove penned the booklet — ‘Digital Safety For The Non-Tech Savvy,’ a one-stop guide to protecting yourself online.
It tackles subjects like phishing, malware and credential stuffing — all methods of accessing personal information of computer users — and according to Cosgrove, many of them, avoidable.
And while initially marketed to seniors, Cosgrove says anyone can be a victim.
“They do target seniors because they get intimidated about it. I’m also noticing a large increase in new Canadians and even young adults,” says Cosgrove.
The book is free in both paperback and digital copy. There are 4,000 paperback copies available at PC Outfitters in Windsor and Elder College.
Cosgrove says it will also be digitally published on the Windsor Police website.
To get a copy of the book, contact Catherine Fettes at the University of Windsor’s Caterbury College at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone: 519-253-3000 ext. 4901.