Is the current “older” generation (Baby Boomers) really wiser when it comes to computer security? Well, a recent analysis, of 1245 PC users, by Dimensional Research and ZoneAlarm seems to indicate they are. According to their report, although 18 to 25 year olds (Gen Y) are more confident (actually over-confident) in their security knowledge than 56 to 65 year olds, they have experienced more security issues within the past two years.
Here are some interesting results of this study:
- 78% of 18 to 25 year olds are not following security best practices (some of this is due to cost of additional security); while 56 to 65 year olds are twice as likely to include additional security software to address their higher security and privacy concerns.
- 67% of UK users reported security problems in the past 2 years (more than any other country)
- 57% of Australia users reported security problems in the past 2 year
- 50% of USA, Canada, and Germany users reported security problems in the past 2 years
- 18 to 25 year olds are the most “at risk” group and are prone to the most cyber-attacks making them more vulnerable to online security threats than the older generations
- 31% of 18 to 25 year olds rank security as the most important priority when making computer decisions (their top priority tends to be entertainment and community)
- 58% of 56 to 65 year olds rank security as the most important priority when making computer decisions
- 84% of all people, included in the survey, keep sensitive data on their computers; however 71% of those people do not follow security best practices
“Financial fraud is one of the main driving factors for cybercriminals these days. They are targeting consumers and not just looking to hack into one computer. They seek to use their victims’ PCs to spread attacks and infiltrate a whole community, including family, friends and work,” said Bari Abdul, VP and Head of Check Point’s Consumer Business, ZoneAlarm. “Online attacks spread rapidly now that we’re connected more than ever before through social media. It is imperative that consumers, especially 18 – 25s, adopt security best practices, and protect their computers with adequate security, which includes at a minimum antivirus and a two-way firewall.”
I don’t know about you, but this analysis really has me “on the fence”. Although I don’t disagree with the results of the study, I can’t help but wonder if it is simply a result of our older generations tendency to be less willing to accept “change”. In many ways, we (the younger generations) often see this as being a negative and frustrating thing; however, in this case it appears to actually be a very good thing. The less apt they are to accept change, the more cautious they will be if and when they attempt to adapt it. With Gen Y being brought into this world of extreme technology, from birth, they become over-confident in their knowledge of this technology and take for granted the fact that they can easily be targets of security threats just as their older counterparts. This is a very risky situation for the younger generations and it is extremely imperative that we all take this analysis to heart and realize that we all need to adapt more cautious measures.
You can find the actual ZoneAlarm report here. I am interested to know your opinion!
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