Millennials are called “digital natives” because they know the ins and outs of the web. They can access information at the click of a computer mouse. They can chat with their friends, check out their bank account, do Instagram posts, and do other tasks by opening several windows in their computer all at once. Strangely, it is this tech-savvy group, more than their non-techie elders, that has fallen victim to online fraud more often.
New research shows that young adults aged 18 to 24 are less cautious about online security behavior and are therefore more prone to scams than older people. In fact, more than 80 percent of young people reveal their email address online to friends, who may unwittingly share it with others. This is not as disturbing as the fact that 29 percent reveal their mother’s maiden name (a common security question).
This is in sharp contrast with the over-55-years-of-age group who are more guarded with their personal information. Only 60 percent of these older adults give their email address, and only 12 percent tell others what mother’s maiden name is.
It’s not surprising therefore, why more young people are becoming victims of money laundering scams in popular social media sites. Criminals use these sites to promote ‘cash flips’, where young people are paid for allowing their bank accounts to be used for illegal purposes.
The same research shows that millennials are less security conscious in using their devices for daily activities like online shopping, which is getting to be more popular among their peers. The study revealed that young people treat security differently from one device to another. Eighty six percent install security safeguards on a PC, while only 57 percent do so on a tablet like an iPad.
Matthew Laza, Director at Policy Network stressed the need for consumers to get smart and safe in the midst of alarming figures showing that around 400 incidents of fraud occur on an hourly basis. He added that steps must be taken to ensure that school children don’t end up being another “Generation Scammed.” (Related: SCARY: Computer experts show how easy it is to hack off-the-shelf smart devices like baby monitors and home security cameras.)
How do you protect yourself against scams that promise instant fortune at little or no effort on your part?
Cyber crimes are on the rise. And members of the young generation are becoming more and more vulnerable. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Read Glitch.news for more coverage of cyber failures.