YOUTH SLACK ON CY­BER SAFETY

Mil­len­ni­als most vul­ner­a­ble, poll finds

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Ma­hak Man­nan @Ma­hakLFC

Mil­len­ni­als liv­ing in the UAE are more at risk than other age groups from cy­ber­crime – and they don’t help them­selves when it comes to se­cu­rity.

These were among the find­ings of the Nor­ton Cy­ber Se­cu­rity In­sights, which sur­veyed more than 20,000 peo­ple world­wide, in­clud­ing al­most 900 in the UAE.

It found 53 per cent of young peo­ple had ex­pe­ri­enced on­line crime in the past year, whether it was the theft of money or data or a phish­ing scam seek­ing to steal per­sonal files.

Most alarm­ing, the re­port said, was the will­ing­ness to share a pass­word if asked to do so.

Some 36 per cent of the younger gen­er­a­tion said they would.

“Mil­len­ni­als ex­hibit sur­pris­ingly slack on­line se­cu­rity habits,” the re­port’s authors wrote.

“They are happy to share pass­words that com­pro­mise their on­line safety. This is likely why they are the most com­mon vic­tims of cy­ber­crime with 53 per cent of mil­len­ni­als in the UAE hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced it in the past year.”

Fre­quent trav­ellers were also among the most at risk. Tamim Tau­fiq, Head of Se­cu­rity Soft­ware at Nor­ton Mid­dle East, said: “Peo­ple usu­ally feel they are not do­ing any­thing risky on­line, like click­ing on phish­ing email links, putting their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on the in­ter­net us­ing pub­lic wi-fi, mak­ing trans­ac­tions, shar­ing their pass­words.

“A third of UAE res­i­dents think they do not need to be pro­tected on­line, be­cause they haven’t been at­tacked so far.”

Al­though a ma­jor­ity of con­sumers claim they use se­cure pass­words on their on­line ac­counts, nearly one- third – 31 per cent – said they share their pass­words with other peo­ple.

An­other 31 per cent of con­sumers also said they do not see the dan­ger in us­ing the same pass­word across mul­ti­ple ac­counts.

“Shar­ing pass­words is com­mon among mil­len­ni­als and this needs to stop,” Tau­fiq said.

“In­stead, they should use strong pass­words in all ac­counts us­ing up­per and lower case al­pha­bets, numbers and signs.”

The de­sire for con­stant con­nec­tiv­ity is also putting UAE res­i­dents at risk.

Tau­fiq said: “If you are mak­ing a ba­sic fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion on pub­lic wi-fi, a hacker can gain ac­cess to your de­tails. This is worse than hav­ing to worry about peo­ple eaves­drop­ping on you while giv­ing fi­nan­cial de­tails over the phone.

“Through pub­lic wi-fi they can­not only steal your fi­nan­cial de­tails, but also your pri­vate data, money and iden­tity.”

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