Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

5/26/2016
10:10 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Millennials Could Learn From Baby Boomers When It Comes To Security

New reports show baby boomers have their millennial children beat when it comes to information security.

Millennials may be tech-savvy, but they have a lot to learn when it comes to security, several new studies reveal.

According to a survey commissioned by Webroot, 59% of millennials share their travel plans on social media sites whereas 71% of baby boomers do not. A Wakefield Research survey on behalf of SecureAuth found that 78% of millennials have disclosed personal information online over public WiFi, versus only 38% of respondents aged 55-64, and 33% aged 65 and over. 

Not only are millennials taking risks when it comes to what they share and where they browse, but they’re also not great at creating strong passwords. A survey conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Gigya found that only 33% of millennials versus 53% of baby boomers create secure passwords for all of their accounts. (That means passwords stronger than “1234” or a birthday or some other personally identifiable piece of information).

And it may come as no surprise that of the 26% respondents in the Gigya survey that have experienced a data breach, millennials were at number one (35%). Baby boomers made up 18% of those breached.

But while baby boomers tend to have more secure habits than millennials, Milbourne says that baby boomers are still slightly more at risk because they’re more likely to fall for Internet-based scams. “Millennials are more savvy at detecting malicious activity on the Web,” he says. 

Two of the surveys blame the millennial mentality of “always be connected” for their nonchalant security practices. “Millennials have grown up so connected to so many social media sites that it doesn’t occur to them that there is danger there that they’re giving out info, and their preference for being connected is more important to them than their potential for risk,” says Craig Lund, CEO of SecureAuth.

"If people really realized how much information is out there ... and tied back to social security numbers and driver’s license numbers, passport; couple that with credit history and where you went to school -- those things collectively make up your digital identity,” Lund says.

Millennials need to understand that if that information is compromised, it can affect you in the long-run, ruining your credit and hurting your chances of renting an apartment or buying a car. 

Source: Webroot
Source: Webroot

Lund admits that completely avoiding connecting to public WiFi isn’t realistic nor the solution to helping millennials practice good information security.

“I admit, I’ve given up my address [on public WiFi]; it’s just an ecommerce world we live in,” he says. Education is the key to helping millennials understand the risks when they don’t practice good security, and knowing what type of data should never be disclosed -- social security number, passport, driver’s license -- over public WiFi. And suffering from a breach, though not ideal, can certainly help change behavior quickly. “Sometimes negative experience can be a great teacher,” he says.

Grayson Milbourne, security intelligence director for Webroot, advises people to invest in a mobile antivirus app because it’s lightweight and not the battery drain that is perceived. He also warns against traveling without a connectivity plan.

“What we see is when people travel, they might not be prepared for Internet usage so they’ll seek out a hot-spot to connect. We strongly discourage this type of behavior because there’s no way to know it isn’t being sniffed by someone else,” he says.

Milbourne suggests planning ahead, especially as summer plans start to form: call service providers to enable roaming, and invest in some cheap, disposable SIM cards to protect data.

Related Content:

 

Emily Johnson is the digital content editor for InformationWeek. Prior to this role, Emily worked within UBM America's technology group as an associate editor on their content marketing team. Emily started her career at UBM in 2011 and spent four and a half years in content ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
5/27/2016 | 10:53:13 AM
Re: Split the generations
Agree. Technology is changing so fast that a decade is too much time for a product, the product might have been born, and already disappeared in that life span. 
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
5/27/2016 | 7:20:07 AM
Split the generations
I feel like technology has changed so much in the last 20 years, that the "millenial" category is too broad. Being born in the mid-90s is very different from having been born in the late 80s. The latter group were intdoduced to the internet at an age where they could understand it, but the technology was in its infancy. 

If you were born in the former group, you probably skipped over dial up internet and the internet was a whole different beast because of it. They grew up with smartphones from an earlier age too.

I'd be interested to see if the password divide was even greater between the two groups of millenials.
97% of Americans Can't Ace a Basic Security Test
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  5/20/2019
TeamViewer Admits Breach from 2016
Dark Reading Staff 5/20/2019
How a Manufacturing Firm Recovered from a Devastating Ransomware Attack
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5798
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Lack of correct bounds checking in Skia in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform an out of bounds memory read via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5799
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect inheritance of a new document's policy in Content Security Policy in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to bypass content security policy via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5800
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Insufficient policy enforcement in Blink in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to bypass content security policy via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5801
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect eliding of URLs in Omnibox in Google Chrome on iOS prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform domain spoofing via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5802
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect handling of download origins in Navigation in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform domain spoofing via a crafted HTML page.