Cybersecurity, Security Practices, Millennials, Secure Passwords

Hacking: It’s Not Just Grandma, You’re Also at Risk

Everyone thinks they know the internet better than their grandparents, but what if the younger generation is actually the most susceptible to trouble?

Most of us assume we’ve got it covered when it comes to browsing the web and carrying around our smartphones. We tend to worry about our parents or grandparents accepting a phishing call asking for bank account information or a pop-up on the web warning them to contact a company right away for ‘vital’ technical support. But, what if it was the other way around? What if in reality, you are actually falling for online scams more than your dad?

The truth is blunt and surprising, but if you’re a ‘millennial’, guess what? You’re more susceptible to cyber attacks. What the heck, you might ask. Even though you have experience with surfing the web, and know that a pop-up on your phone isn’t going to lead to a free plane ticket or a large cash prize, 20% of millennials are more likely to fall for these traps than their older counterparts.

Read More: Google Chrome and the Safe Browsing Feature

Read on for the reasons why you’re easier targets for security breaches online than your grandma is.

Born With a Smartphone in Hand
The youngest generation that can now legally drive vehicles in the United States were born in 2002.They arrived in an era that’s currently progressing through young adulthood and when they made an appearance on planet earth, Apple had already released the second generation iPod. Time does fly!

Being born with technology creates a level of comfort; it’s produced a collection of individuals who don’t take much caution when approaching technology but instead expect technology to be at the ready, without risks, when you need something done. The idea of a safe technology Utopia that’s there to help, and not to harm, has almost been drilled into younger minds.

Our grandparents and parents were taught about the importance of privacy, but the latest generation has been born into a society where privacy is becoming obsolete. With being connected by various social media accounts, posting photos and videos online, while also “checking in” on Foursquare and sharing an exact location with strangers — keeping personal information private is not a cultural mindset for millennials. The latest generation wasn’t taught about security or trained to approach technology with caution – it was always there, and that makes it dangerous.

Pure Apathy for Security Procedures
The current generation conveys a general naivety regarding security, as a recent Fortune article pointed out that “millennial employees could be your company’s biggest cybersecurity risk.” 

A recent study carried out reported that about 30% of younger employees leave their sensitive passwords on post-it-notes or other scraps of paper in clear sight. That surprising number can be compared with only 20% of Gen X individuals, such as your parents, keeping their information out in the open, and only 11% of Baby Boomers, like your grandparents, doing the same.

The Why and How
The apathy problem might stem from merely being born with technology in-hand. Security can seem troublesome to millennials who are used to a fast-moving digital culture.

Having to wait for IT to approve taking files home, creating a two-factor authentication to secure online accounts, or even creating different passwords might make this generation lose patience, wanting things to move quicker. After being accustomed to a level of simplicity and ease, it’s difficult to reel everything in by introducing more detailed procedures, even for the sake of security.

Don’t lose hope if you’re a millennial, though. You can become more conscious of your online life. It begins with following some simple security tips:

One, don’t use a single password for all your accounts – create various passwords with random letters, numbers, and symbols

Two, don’t share your passwords – they are yours and should be kept secure, even from your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Three, don’t ignore your company’s security guidelines – reach out to your IT department for help if something seems too hard.

Seems like a boring thing to say, but cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Together, we can remove the stigma attached to any generation and create a more secure internet experience for all.