As a relatively young person, I would like to think that I’m on pretty on top of technology — and perhaps by extension, security.
It doesn’t seem to be the case with other younger users, with a survey commissioned by Google suggesting young people are overconfident when it comes to keeping their online accounts safe.
A Harris Poll, which surveyed 3,000 adults in the U.S., said 78 percent of Gen Z (16-24 year olds) admitted they use the same password for multiple online accounts.
“Younger users are digital natives; they don’t remember a time without smartphones,” Emily Schechter, a product manager for Chrome Security at Google, told Mashable. “I think this must be super influential to how they think about technology and security.”
Baby Boomers (aged 50+) fare best, with 60 percent of these users sharing a password over multiple accounts. 67 percent of 25-49 year olds do the same.
In case it wasn’t clear, sharing passwords across different online accounts isn’t a good idea. And there’s other things to consider with your password: Ensure they’re more than eight characters, make it longer if you can, and use a password manager, among other things.
The kids are also overconfident about phishing, where 71 percent of Gen Z respondents say they wouldn’t fall for a phishing scam, yet, only 44 percent knew what “phishing” means.
Both 25-49 year olds and Boomers aren’t as confident they wouldn’t fall for these scams, and more understood what “phishing” is.
It’s not all bad for the youth, with Gen Z the highest users of two-step verification (76 percent), eclipsing older users. 62 percent of Baby Boomers use the security feature, while 74 percent of 25-49 year olds do the same.
“While I recommend all people, regardless of age, use these internet safety tips we recently shared, I think it’s on software developers to build software that’s easy for everyone to use safely,” Schechter added.
“People shouldn’t have to be security experts to be safe online — they shouldn’t need to understand what a security certificate is, or need to remember complex passwords for each of their accounts.”
But you (and me) could definitely give more of a hoot about security, and it isn’t hard.