Over-exposed and over-confident – are adults leaving themselves open to cybercrime online?

Generation X and Millennials putting themselves at risk online despite knowing the dangers

Millennials, perhaps most famous for being the generation who invented Avocado toast were the first to grow up with the internet, have seen the world-wide-web rise and rise in popularity. From its humble beginnings right through to what we see today – millennials have seen it all. So, with that you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re also the most digital-savvy: they were there when phishing links grew in popularity by criminals so are perhaps the most knowledgeable when it comes to avoiding them, right?

Over-confident and over-sharing

Turns out new research shows that whilst millennials and Gen-X are indeed digital natives, they’re actually prone to over-confidence and sharing far too much data, than many other generations before or after them.

Some examples from the report showed that despite being previously hit by a phishing scam, 74% of adults surveyed say they’d still share personal info on social media sites, use the same passwords and even participate in online quizzes (sharing personal data like first pet name, mother’s maiden name, etc.); and only a fifth of people aged 25-35, who have been a targeted by a phishing scam, took any sort of action to try and stop it happening again.

So, it seems that whilst adults understand the risks and dangers around scams, there’s little change in people’s behaviors – perhaps suggesting that it’s not lack of awareness, but an attitude of complacency around digital scams that’s more pressing.

What can be done?

The data we share online is more precious than ever before – fraudsters are willing to pay real money to gain access to personal data such as PayPal accounts, bank accounts and even things like passports and driver’s license details. Because of this, its important people guard their online data with the same sort of common-sense they do with their car or their house. David Emm, Principle Security Researcher at Kaspersky said that “We need to take action to protect ourselves online and do it right now. It’s like knowing about the dangers of the road, but still crossing without looking. It’s time for adults of any age to take responsibility for our own online safety and adopt good cybersecurity practices to protect ourselves and our families both now and in the future.

If you’d like to learn more, you can read the full report here.