Boomers appear to have better cybersecurity habits than millennials and Gen Z
October 24, 2023

Boomers appear to have better cybersecurity habits than millennials and Gen Z

Despite modern technology being associated with younger generations, the so-called “boomers” generation seem to have better cybersecurity habits than members of the younger generations known as millennials and Generation Z. At least that's what new research from Swedish authentication device firm Yubico claims.

People born in the period from the end of the Second World War until the beginning of the seventies of the last century belong to the boomer generation, i.e. they were born in the “Baby boom” period, when the world got back on its feet after the crisis that engulfed it. After that comes Generation X, “Millennials” and Generation Z, and the division of the period in which they were all born differs from region to region in the world, and the geopolitical and social circumstances that affected their inhabitants.

Thus, for the X generation, demographers broadly consider those born between the seventies and the end of the eighties, that is, those who are “lost” between two large groups – boomers and millennials.

Millennials, therefore, include somewhat younger members of the world's population, born from the end of the eighties until, in some regions, even 2000 or 2001. The rise of the Internet and technology is linked to their generation, which affected them primarily in terms of information.

This is precisely why today we would expect them to be better at managing their online security habits than boomers, but a new study not only claims the opposite, but also states that generation Z, the youngest of the mentioned, has worse habits in this regard.

The “Zumer” or Z generation includes those who were born at the beginning of the new millennium until the early 2010s, and they are also characterized by high agility towards technology, especially mobile devices.

Although they grew up with technology, younger people do not have enviable safety online habits

Despite all that, research conducted on two thousand respondents shows that those who grew up with technology still have worse security habits in it than their parents or grandparents. The company Yubico conducted a survey on respondents from the USA and Great Britain about their attitudes when it comes to the protection of online accounts.

Boomers were found to be the least likely to reuse the same passwords for multiple accounts, with only 20 percent of Boomers saying they would do so. On the other hand, more than twice as many millennials use the same passwords on multiple accounts, or as much as 47 percent, while members of Generation X and Z are also frequent “offenders” with 38 and 39 percent of them doing this, respectively.

A characteristic of boomers is also that they rarely save their credit card information on online accounts, only 19 percent of members of this generation do so, while their successors are much more open to such a thing. Around 33 per cent of Gen Z, 37 per cent of Millennials and 34 per cent of Gen Xers will store their bank card details in online accounts.

A key factor in this deviation is “self-doubt”. Boomers are almost twice as likely as Boomers to be unsure about, for example, detecting fraudulent online sellers, 42 percent to 23 percent. Millennials and Generation X also rarely suffer from a lack of self-confidence, but still more so than the youngest respondents – both groups are about 30 percent unsure when to spot such Internet scams.

However, this does not mean that the boomer generation is playing it safe. When, for example, it comes to multi-factor authentication of an account or application (MFA), its most frequent users are exactly Zoomers, i.e. 59 percent of generation Z, followed by the “executed” members of generation X with 55 percent. However, when comparing boomers and millennials, boomers (53 percent) are more likely than millennials (48 percent) to use authentication.

Along with the results of the survey, Yubico shared some tips on cyber security, TheNextWeb portal reports, and as a company that deals with MFA technology, it is obvious that it wants every generation to use this type of protection. One thing is certain, if the boomers use authentication after this text, they will be even safer on the Internet than their younger descendants.