Gen Y Claim Better Understanding Of Security Issues

  • Gen Y claim more security knowledge
  • Baby Boomers take security more seriously
  • Gen Y have more security issues than Baby Boomers

Check Point Software Technologies has announced the results of a new ZoneAlarm report is commissioned that says it reveals differences in the use of computer security between Generation Y and Baby Boomers.

The report, titled The Generation Gap In Computer Security, found that amongst 1,245 global respondents, over 200 of which were from Australia, Gen Y is more confident in its security knowledge than Baby Boomers. However, 50 percent of Gen Y respondents have had security issues in the past two years compared to less than half of Baby Boomers.

The broad adoption of digital media and social networking, combined with the increasing amount of sensitive data that is stored online, is making PC security more important than ever before. Yet the study reveals that 78 percent of Gen Y respondents do not follow security best practices while cybercriminals are launching new and more sophisticated attacks on consumers every day. In comparison, Baby Boomers are more concerned about security and privacy and twice more likely to protect their computers with additional security software. 

Other findings include:

  • Computer security increases in priority with age – Only 31 percent of Gen Y rank security as the most important consideration when making decisions about their computers in comparison to 58 percent of Baby Boomers. Gen Y prioritises entertainment and community above security.
  • Gen Y is overconfident in its security knowledge – Gen Y (63 percent) claims to be more knowledgeable about security when compared to Baby Boomers (59 percent). However, half of Gen Y respondents have had security issues in the past two years in comparison to less than half (42 percent) of Baby Boomers.
  • Gen Y has less sophisticated security due to cost and technical barriers – Gen Y respondents are less likely to use paid antivirus, third-party firewalls, or integrated security suites than Baby Boomers. Gen Y (45 percent) view security software as too expensive in comparison to Baby Boomers (37 percent).
  • Sensitive data is stored on computers, yet most do not follow security best practices – 84 percent  of people keep sensitive data, such as tax records, financial information, and passwords, on their computers. However, most users (71 percent), especially Gen Y (78 percent), do not follow security best practices.

The study, The Generation Gap in Computer Security, surveyed 1,245 PC users across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. All respondents who completed the survey had responsibility for purchasing and maintaining their personal desktop or laptop computer. Gen Y is defined as 18- to 25- year olds, and Baby Boomers refers to 56- to 65- year olds.

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