A new study examined how different generations view cybersecurity threats, and found that baby boomers generally have better cybersecurity habits and are more concerned about protecting their personal information than younger generations.
The 2017 Consumer Cybersecurity Study by First Data showed that most Americans are still not overly concerned with password protection, although baby boomers are more diligent than millennials. Younger generations may be considered more tech-savvy than their parents’ generation, but according to the First Data study, a staggering 82% of millennials reuse passwords on websites and apps, and 42% will only change their passwords when forced.
On the other hand, a slightly smaller majority (70%) of baby boomers reuses passwords on websites and apps, and 32% change their password only when prompted.
Millennials Trust Social Media more than Online Banking
The study also looked at how generations think about online banking. Baby boomers have more trust in financial institutions than younger generations but less trust in social media sites. Baby boomers are also less likely to think that their method of online banking could be breached. One in five (19%) baby boomers thought it was unlikely there would be an online banking cyberattack compared to just 14% of millennials. When it comes to social media security, however, 63% of baby boomers thought social media was vulnerable to cyberattacks, while only 45% of millennials agreed with that statement.
In general, baby boomers showed more concern around current events as well. Only half (49%) of millennials have a heightened concern about their online security following recent cyberattacks, in comparison to 65% of baby boomers.
Baby Boomers Leading the Pack for Workplace Cybersecurity Practices Too
When it comes to the workplace, baby boomers generally exhibited better habits and understanding about cybersecurity than younger generations. The study found baby boomers are more likely to not only have a workplace security policy but also to actually review and execute on it as well.
Additional highlights include:
- 72% of baby boomers hardly ever store work-related data or files on their personal devices, compared to 69% of millennials.
- 86% of baby boomers hardly ever download free applications or software to their work devices without consulting IT, compared to just 75% of millennials.
- 34% of baby boomers always consider whether their online actions pose a cybersecurity risk for their workplace, compared to only 21% of millennials.
- 82% of baby boomers think their employer has provided them with adequate training and resources to avoid cybersecurity risks at work, compared to 77% of millennials.