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Perceived Privacy Risk

Privacy risks encompass fears around perceptions of privacy, security, and identity-theft. It is exhibited through a lack of confidence in the online environment and a reluctance to share anything private through digital means. This risk includes concerns about data security, scams and the fear of being tracked online as well as accidently signing up to subscriptions and automatic monthly payments that can be confusing.

For Amon these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:

Example 1
“I fear losing my privacy.”
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Example 1

It can include the feeling that your privacy could be breached at any point or that you are fearful you could become a victim of a scam or have your identity stolen. For instance, Amon tried setting up an Instagram account once to connect with his grandchildren. However, he did not complete the registration process because he was uncomfortable with providing the personal information the site asked for.

Example 2
“I feel there is a high level of risk doing transactions online (e.g., banking, shopping), and I’m worried that people might be able to access my account or credit card information.”
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Example 2

It can be manifested as a fear of not feeling safe doing online transactions due to the concern of a privacy breach. For instance, Amon does not shop online because he fears being scammed if he provides his personal details and credit card number online.

Can you relate to those example above?  Go to strategies to learn about how Amon can address these issues.


Individual Strategies for Managing Privacy Risk

Amon Strategy-1


Social media. Have a go at what you want to do. It is easy to get overwhelmed with information, so take a break when you need it. Then, come back to it when you feel refreshed.


Online Shopping. If you do not want to fill in details on the site, look for a phone number and call them. You can ask if they can take your details over the phone or ask for help and support to complete the transaction online.


Personal information. Avoid providing personal information by email or phone if you do not know who is asking for the information or if you are contacted without prior knowledge. Do not share your passwords or give your date of birth.


Social media. Be careful if you are going to share personal information on social media. If you are in doubt, do not post it.


Banking. Ask the manager at your local branch to help you download the app and go into your account. In case of doubt, ask for assistance before moving further.


Take notes. Remember to take notes when learning something new so you can refer to them the next time you want to do online banking or purchase something.


When scammed. Do not feel embarrassed if you are being scammed. It is very common. Be careful online and keep updating with news on scams from or Subscribe to scam alerts such as Scamwatch Radar to help you recognise and avoid scams.


Passwords. Use highly secure passwords and frequently change your passwords. You can use a password book (e.g., a traditional notebook or encrypted excel file) to keep track of your passwords. Other options are keychain or password manager. Keep your password book secured, updated, and consider having a backup of your password book.


Banking. Go onto your financial institutions’ website and explore their tutorials on online banking.

Relational Strategies for Managing Privacy Risk

Amon Strategy-2


Seek assistance. Ask friends and/or family members to help you make your accounts safe and secure. Some tasks happen only once (e.g., setting up a social media account, installing a password manager, setting up a PayPal account). Other tasks are common and repetitive (e.g., signing in your email, using double authentication, updating your system). Ask family or friends to go slowly, explain it step by step and be patient with you. Take notes so you can practise on your own.


Make it into a game. Grandchildren are often both willing and able to help with technology. Compared with (adult) children, they are more prone to assist with what they see as fun and play.


Social media. Consider asking knowledgeable friends or family members to explain and review your social media privacy setting with you. Make sure that your family members/friends are supportive and have plenty of time and patience for you.


Be wary. If you are suspicious of anything, stop and find someone to ask. If you receive a suspicious email from your bank, financial institution or accountant, call them and check if the email is valid. If you receive an unusual email/message from your friends, phone them to check.


Courses. Join ICT courses for beginners developed for older adults. Try to find out if these courses exist in your primary language. Ask for classes that discuss scams, privacy and security issues. Discuss your issues with tutors and learning buddies.


Banking and financial institutions. Contact your bank if you are suspicious that you are being scammed immediately. Banks can stop transactions in your account and prevent you from losing money.


Secure information. Consider writing down on paper and sharing some of your secure information with trusted friends or family members (such as passwords and credit card numbers). You might also send it as an encrypted file.
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Strategies to Managing Perceived Privacy Risk

Privacy risk is aligned both with the person’s ICT ability and the person’s confidence to overcome the perceived risk and try to engage with the digital device. There are individual strategies people can do themselves to manage this risk, as well as relational strategies which consider the role of social influence on a person’s ability to try new things and interact with ICT.

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You may be interested in
Other potential risks that Amon is facing:

will this digital device work the way I want it to – it includes forgetting instructions and managing passwords.
concerns about feeling incompetent, getting frustrated and being overwhelmed with digital technology.
worries about online transactions, not receiving the purchased goods and processing errors.
fear of buying too much online and the costs with upgrading software and devices.
concerns that digital devices encourage physical inactivity and becoming addicted to the devices as well as the strains on eyesight.
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