If you are younger - 24 years or less - you typically reveal more personal information online and take fewer steps to protect it – but you have a better understanding of potential threats and can recognize them more easily.
If you are mature - 45 years or more - you are more cautious about sharing personal information, but can lack the knowledge to spot a damaging scam or imminent threat.
Kaspersky Labs recent survey found that for younger people, sharing data online is an everyday occurrence, with 83% undertaking private messaging online (53% for matures). 23% of younger people admit to sharing explicit content online at least once (7% for matures).
Both age groups are equally careless about passwords - 40% have fewer passwords than online accounts (reuse the same password), and 50% store them insecurely (writing them down or in a contacts database).
So begins the first of many 2016 warnings that identity theft is the new black.
The younger generation is more impatient when it comes to installing software and downloading files.
- 26% say they skip through the details of terms and conditions when installing software (12% matures).
- 31% downloading files from different sources (10% matures)
- 24% would disable their security solution if it tried to prevent them installing a piece software (13% matures)
This behaviour means that they don’t know what kind of data they have just granted access to, what additional programs they might have installed, or how their OS settings could have been changed.
Yet according to the research, younger people appear more experienced at spotting malware. When asked to download a song from four samples, 30% chose the most dangerous ‘.exe’ file (42% matures).
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab says It is not surprising that in the light of younger peoples ‘less restrained’ online behaviour they are more likely to find themselves hit by a malware infection - 57% were affected in 2015 (34% matures).
“While it is clear that more mature Internet users are likely to take fewer risks with their personal information online, when confronted with a cyber-threat they are less cyber-savvy about identifying and dealing with it. There is no substitute for having a strong digital protection instinct. It is important that users of all ages are cautious and vigilant online and aware of the potential threats, regardless of how often they use the Internet and what they use it for. People should also have a security solution in place that provides them with total protection when downloading and installing files and communicating online,” said Emm.
Kaspsersky has a set of tips for online protection here. These cover protection of photos, password issues (and pin/pattern use), Android security, phishing and much more.
There is also a good 'vacation' read here about 12 security rules for 2016 – worth a read.