It might be easy to assume that the younger generations have better cybersecurity hygiene than their predecessors, but think again.
In light of the upcoming season, Yubico, a provider of hardware authentication security keys, conducted a survey to understand the preferences and attitudes around shopping online during the holidays. The survey included questions on whether cybersecurity is a concern for consumers of different age groups.
Findings revealed that Boomers (22%) are actually less likely to reuse their passwords across multiple accounts than Millennials (47%), Gen Z (39%) and Gen X (38%). They were also found less likely to store their credit card information in their accounts (Boomers at 19% vs. Millennials at 37%). This is especially risky with a survey from Shopify finding that almost everyone (93%) will buy at least some gifts online, and nearly half (47%) indicate they will purchase all or most of their holiday gifts online.
“While it is technically easy for retailers to implement basic username and password authentication for their customers, these types of credentials alone are easy for attackers to circumvent, allowing unauthorized access to online accounts,” said Ben Eichorst, director of infrastructure security at Yubico, in a press release. “During busy online shopping months, consumers may be tempted to adopt risky habits such as reusing passwords across services, or clicking on order information links that appear legitimate. These kinds of behaviors put consumers at a higher risk for their accounts to be compromised.”
Here’s a look at other findings from the Yubico report.
Gen Z is the Most Concerned About Cybersecurity
Despite 39% of Gen Z respondents reusing passwords, they were found to be the generation most concerned about cybersecurity, with an overwhelming 90% reporting so. They were followed by 81% of Boomers, 80% of Gen X and 77% of Millennials.
One-Third of Consumers Not Confident in Spotting a Fraudulent Retailer
Despite a mistrust of online retailers, consumers are still storing their personal and financial information on these websites. About one third of respondents (32%) are not confident that they could spot a fraudulent or fake online retailer. About one in three do not “completely” or “mostly” trust the websites they use to effectively protect their personal/credit card information. Still, 33% of respondents save their credit card information in their online accounts.
Nearly Half of Respondents Do Not Use MFA
Around one out of two (49.1%) of respondents said they did not use MFA, don’t know what it is or are not sure if they have MFA turned on for their active online accounts. This included:
- 41% of Gen Z
- 52% of Millennials
- 45% of Gen X
- And 47% of Boomers
The survey from Yubico underscores the importance of ongoing education and awareness for individuals of all ages to protect their online accounts and personal information. This is particularly important during the busy online shopping months. Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility that requires continuous improvement and vigilance, regardless of one’s age group.
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