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GoldCare, IT Department, Senior Lunch 'n Learn, Internet Security
David Mize of the Marshall Medical IT department helps a GoldCare 55+ member with a web security question.

Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 11:21 PM

Marshall Medical IT experts help seniors stay safe on the Internet

Seniors learn basic precautions that go a long way toward protecting personal data.

The Internet provides many chances for seniors to meet people, conduct business, plan travel, access records, stay in touch with friends and family, and generally interact with the world around them. That’s a wonderful thing as long as it is done without falling prey to predators seeking personal information. Marshall County seniors got some help from Marshall Medical Centers’ IT experts to give them peace of mind to go online.

“We want to help you protect yourself by putting up some safeguards,” MMC IT Director Kim Bunch explained during a GoldCare 55+ lunch n’ learn.  “The IT department helps protect the hospital network and, as users of our hospitals, your information too.”

Network Security Administrator Jody Gosnell warned against using free antivirus programs to protect your computer. He also said software updates are very important and everyone should stay current with those.

“Updates are the vendors’ way of trying to protect you against the bad guys,” he said. 

Good passwords are critical

IT Operations Manager David Mize schooled the group on creating safe passwords.

“Don’t make them simple,” he warned. “It makes it easy to guess for the hackers.”

Instead, he said, make it complicated and don’t use anything personal, such as pets’ names, children’s birthdays. Something as simple as adding one additional character – such as an exclamation point or question mark on the end – really makes a password difficult to guess.

Some attendees asked about Marshall Medical’s patient portal where medical information is stored for patient use. They were assured not to worry because there are many safeguards watching over the information.

“It is very secure,” Gosnell said. 

Following their presentation, the IT staff answered questions about phones, iCloud and how to use calendars. They offered individual help to those having an issue.

GoldCare 55+ reaches out to area seniors by promoting a healthy and independent lifestyle. Members benefit from free health screenings, discounts on wellness events, better access to Marshall Medical Center services as well as affordable group travel. Monthly lunch ‘n learns provide information on everything from health and exercise to safe driving and fun parties.

If you are 55 or older and would like to take advantage of all the benefits Marshall Medical Centers’ GoldCare 55+ program has to offer, visit where you can download a membership application. If you have any questions, please call (256) 571-8025 (for Arab area residents: (256) 753-8025) or email