Protecting Sheffield silver surfers when online

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Lessons aimed at protecting pensioners online welcomed a 100-year-old ‘silver surfer’ to one of its Internet safety sessions.

The event was run by undergraduate Computer Information and Security student Rob Lister and organised in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University and Age UK Sheffield.

It welcomed Kathleen Mysberg, 100, who uses the Internet to Skype her family overseas – and gave a lesson in how to stay safe online before trading standards gave some helpful tips about doorstep crime.

It was all part of Sheffield City Council’s “Not Born Yesterday” campaign, which aims to tackle scammers and rogue traders preying on the most vulnerable.

The attendees at the event heard from students, members of Sheffield City Council’s trading standards team and representatives from Santander.

Santander also gave a presentation about staying safe while online banking.

Rob Lister, aged 20, said: “It went really well. The presentation was a good introduction to staying safe online and off-line and we hope that it will lead to further sessions both at Hallam and in the community.

“We find that people often start using the Internet without any tips on how to do so safely, so courses like this give them a toolkit to follow.

“I’d like to thank the other groups who attended a really good first session.”

The other students who took part were Erick Hibert, aged 23, Rasheed Osman, aged 21, and 20-year-old Danny Ibishev.

“Not Born Yesterday” is a collaboration between Sheffield’s Trading Standards and Adult Safeguarding services and brings together a network of partners including South Yorkshire Police, Age UK Sheffield and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

The campaign is delivered through organisations and community groups, using the help of family, friends and neighbours who are best placed to spot the signs of this type of financial abuse and provide an effective and confidential route to refer concerns.

Spotting warning signs and providing support is a key aim of the project. Those being helped might be someone receiving lots of junk letters for mail order products and prize draws, being pestered by scam calls, or being targeted at the door for unnecessary property repairs or gardening work.