Too humdrum to hack?

Too humdrum to hack?

A third of millennials think they’re too boring and ordinary to be the victim of cybercrime.

Online security tops the charts as the most important factor for millennials looking to find their ‘Digital Comfort Zones’ at home. However a new study by Kaspersky shows that over a third of them (37%) think they’re boring to be the victim of cybercrime.

Kaspersky’s latest global report, More Connected Than Ever Before: How We Build Our Digital Comfort Zonesexplores how people are changing their habits to ensure they are comfortable with the role of technology in their lives. Although millennials say they intend to tighten up their online security, their actions tell a different story.

Many millennials think they’re too boring for cybercriminals. While over a third admit that  they should be doing more to strengthen their digital security, but tightening security drops to the bottom of their to-do list.

As the ‘new normal’ has forced many to work from home, the home is becoming a technological hub for millennials. They are now spending nearly 1.8 extra hours online everyday compared with the start of the year, bringing their daily average up to 7.1 hours a day.

Half say this increased time online has made them more aware of their digital security. Millennials are spending most of their time on social media, but nearly two thirds say that the rise of online dating from home is a particular concern for their digital security.

To address these concerns, over half of millennials now say that they only run trustworthy apps on their devices from official stores such as Apple Store and Google Play, and almost as many run regular anti-virus scans on each of their devices to protect themselves. However, a mischievous streak also appears in 13% of millennials, who admitted to using their neighbours’ Wi-Fi in the past without them knowing – potentially a security risk, and even a criminal offence.

2020 has been a defining year for the digital home. With many people all over the world in lock-down, the amount we interact with, and rely on, technology has increased dramatically. The pandemic has substantially impacted our actions and our feelings when it comes to digital life and our ‘digital comfort zones’.

Andrew Winton, Vice President, Marketing at Kaspersky, claims that millenials are placing more emphasis on digital security, particularly as the line between work and home becomes increasingly blurred. “It’s not a surprise” he says. “Millennials will shape how society uses technology for years to come. Protecting ourselves from digital threats can be simple, and this [research] helps us better understand how we can help optimise safety within individual ‘digital comfort zones”.

These thoughts are echoed by Dr. Berta Aznar Martínez of Ramon Llull University in Barcelona.“It is said that millennials are digital natives. The fact that many share accommodation with flat mates can actually make them feel digitally insecure, especially at the start of cohabitation. Also their tendency to move home and work can make this feeling even worse. In this instance it is important to talk and communicate openly about these worries with flat mates: to share the costs of security software, make explicit rules for using any common devices and to get to know each other better.”

Keeping reasonably safe online isn’t difficult. But if millennials (and indeed all of us) are to remain safe, it does require a little discipline and thoughtfulness.

  • Pay attention to the authenticity of the site you are visiting. Do not visit websites unless you are sure that they are legitimate and start with ‘https’. Try looking for reviews of sites if they seem suspicious to you.
  • Keep a list of your online accounts so you know which services and websites are storing your personal information.
  • Block the installation of programs from unknown sources; on your smartphone only install apps from official app stores.
  • Be proactive about making your social media profiles more private. Using tools like “Privacy Checker” will make it harder for third parties to find highly personal information.
  • Make sure you set up cyber security systems to keep your home network safe. Systems that monitor your home network and detect WiFi intruders or risky actions and send out real-term warnings will put your mind at ease and make for safer surfing.

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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