YOUTH SLACK ON CYBER SAFETY
Millennials most vulnerable, poll finds
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.”