Feeds

Lithe British youngsters prioritise fun over privacy and security

Merrily allow themselves to be slurped and probed

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Silver surfers are more switched on about security than youngsters, even though the 18-25 age group are generally considered a more tech-savvy generation.

Young adults who have been around computers all their lives tend to prioritise entertainment and community over security and privacy, according to a new survey.

The survey of more than 1,200 PC users, sponsored by Check Point Software, found that 50 per cent of 18-25 age group (Gen Y) respondents have had security issues in the past two years compared to less than half (42 per cent) of those from the group aged between 56- to 65-year-olds. Gen Y users had more security problems in spite of expressing greater (perhaps misplaced) confidence in their supposed security knowledge.

More than that 78 per cent of Gen Y respondents fail to follow security best practices. By comparison, those approaching retirement were twice as likely to protect their computers with additional security software (paid antivirus, third-party firewalls, or integrated security suites), according to results from The Generation Gap in Computer Security survey (PDF). This leaves their sensitive data – such as tax records, financial info, and online passwords – at a greater risk of attack.

Only 31 per cent of Gen Y respondents ranked security as the most important consideration when making decisions about their computers in comparison to 58 per cent of Baby Boomers (56- to 65-year-olds). Gen Y prioritised entertainment and community above security, the survey found. Young adults (45 per cent) are more likely than silver surfers to view security software as being "too expensive".

"Growing up in the digital age, Gen Y may appear to be a more tech-savvy generation, but that does not translate into safer computer and online practices," said Tomer Teller, security evangelist and researcher at Check Point Software Technologies.

"Gen Y tends to prioritise entertainment and community over security, perhaps due to overconfidence in their security knowledge. For example, they’re more concerned about gaming or other social activities than their online security. They also have less sophisticated security software, and hence have reported more security problems than other groups, such as Baby Boomers."

Check Point recently launched ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall as a combined security suite. It also sells a range of paid-for products, principally but not exclusively to business, which means that the firm has a vested interest in highlighting consumer security mistakes. That doesn't mean it's wrong about tearaway young adults and lax security, however. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.