Those over 55 aren't adequately protecting themselves online, survey finds

By Shawn Knight ยท 21 replies
Oct 5, 2016
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  1. While it’s generally accepted that wisdom comes with age, that’s certainly not always the case. Research from Kaspersky Lab and market researcher B2B International has shown that those of the older generation are increasingly finding their way to the Internet albeit with a general lack of awareness that could put them at risk.

    In a survey of more than 12,500 Internet users as part of a report entitled: “Older and Wiser? A look at the Threats Faced by Over-55s Online,” the firms found that despite the fact that those 55 and older are more likely to install security software on their computers, they are less likely to protect their mobile devices or modify online behavior in the name of safety.

    For example, the older generation uses high privacy settings on social media and in their web browsers less than other age groups. Furthermore, they’re unlikely to use security-minded functions of mobile devices like “find my phone” or VPNs.

    Data from the survey shows that a whopping 86 percent of those 55 and older do not believe they are a target for cyber criminals. Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that four in 10 have put themselves at risk by sharing financial details in the public domain.

    Andrei Mochola, head of consumer business at Kaspersky Lab, said that on the one hand, it’s great to see that so many over-55s are using the Internet to shop, bank and stay connected with loved ones. On the other hand, however, it’s clear that this age group is not doing enough to protect themselves properly.

    As such, Mochola encourages younger Internet users to help their older relatives and friends better protect themselves from the very real threats posed by cyber criminals. Suggestions for the older generation include being more vigilant online, installing reliable security solutions and using high privacy settings on all devices used to access the net.

    Permalink to story.

  2. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    Working with a lot of people in the age group that have never been technically inclined, it's very obvious.

    I keep telling a lot of these people to stop clicking on everything they see, but they still do. I tell them that wasn't a "Microsoft Engineer" on the phone, after leaning they already gave them information anyways. I tell them to not install crap they don't need, and to read, but they never do.

    I can't comprehend why they fall victim to all this stuff, because if this were human to human with no tech involved, they likely would make the right choice.
  3. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,264   +436

    Not really surprised most people I know that age are scared to touch a computer.

    The best thing you can do for them is give them computer with linux and setup all the desktop shortcuts.

    Its easy to click and destroy a machine in windows when you don't know what you are doing in linux not so much.
  4. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 819   +343

    Not really on topic, but that is the creepiest, rapeyest old man I've ever seen. And I'm old enough to remember Jim'll Fix It.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  5. worker17

    worker17 TS Rookie

    What an age-ist article. I have seen people of ALL age groups be at risk for these problems. Oh well, all of us OLD fossils are obviously too ignorant to understand, as the first comment indicates thoroughly. And I have been working on computers since 1971.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Uh huh, if you say so.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    "Working with a lot of people in the age group that have never been technically inclined, it's very obvious".
    Not just of that age, of any age is a little more accurate.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yeah, these kids seem to forget that we've forgotten a lot of what they're still trying to learn. It's fortunate because as we get older we can always use our (fading) memory as a good, viable excuse and the youngster always fall for it. With age, wisdom. You can't put an older head on young shoulders. Youth is wasted on youth, blah, blah, blah.
    Anyway, I believe this article.
  9. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +16

    I also noted that, especially those eyes. Pretty much like on of those stalker relative uncles.
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  10. Duckeenie

    Duckeenie TS Booster Posts: 80   +62

    The biggest flaw in this survey is that most technically minded people don't fall for data mining traps (online surveys) so are missing from the results. Moreover when was the last time anybody believed product sponsored surveys anyway? It was always obvious that Kaspersky were going to say not enough people protect themselves because that was their motivation for the survey.

    On a slightly more lighthearted note: I just skimmed through the linked PDF and they refer to a "pin number" DON'T FLIPPIN' DO THAT! it's not a personal identity number number.
    jobeard likes this.
  11. Well I'm 54 and am usually the 'go to' guy for the people who know me. I'm just a guy that assembles his own computer from the parts in the boxes and have some common sense (like no, I don't believe the email from the Prince in Nigeria that wants my banking details). I think generally I run into two classes of people, on either end of the age spectrum. Not trying to stereotype, just my personal experience here.
    There are young people (remember I'm 54) that cannot use a computer for over about three months before it is non-functional due to viruses, stuff they shouldn't have clicked on, programs installed where they didn't read anything, just click, click, click. Of course when I tell them that I won't touch it unless I can reformat and reinstall and...surprise, of course they don't have the activation codes for anything, the discs which came with the computer and so on and so on.....they also totally ignore your advice like the necessity for antivirus, to read before you click and on things to avoid (good practices stuff)
    Older folks I help usually it's like...they can't remember how to do what they want to do or used to do or somehow they have changed the view of the application and are now totally lost/helpless. They don't have the lingo to express over the phone the problem so I go there and usually in a few clicks I can put it back "the way it used to look" and it is all good again.
    Phr3d and Bob25 like this.
  12. Bob25

    Bob25 TS Rookie

    I'd have to call BS on this survey. I'm well over 55, as are my friends, co-workers and neighbors, and we're all much more careful about online activities than are our children and grandchildren. Don't think online carelessness is necessary age-related to the degree that this article implies.
  13. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    I didn't say it doesn't ever happen out of the age group. Where I am, I just happen to deal with more of this age group and see it in them than I do younger ones. But I'm sure in other locales that may be the total opposite.

    But I think in general this will be the case of any aging generation when a new technological marvel comes around. A large amount of them will fail to grasp at it, while a few will flourish in it (like now with Computers).
  14. These things also only highlight the people with the problems, not the millions of functioning people of all ages who seem to know well enough what they are doing.
  15. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 144   +75

    Do your elderly neighbors a "solid" and drop by and help them out. I did with 3 different neighbors recently and we found that one of them was paying for one of those bogus antivirus scams to the tune of $25 monthly. Our elders didn't grow up with tech like we did. And some just aren't "techie" so go help them out. Do it!
  16. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +84

    There is a notable FAT difference between age and simple, computer inexperience.
    My sister is 10 years older'n me (and I'm Old, lol) and has had a computer since the dawn of AOL - she's about as computer literate as your latest Geek-squad hire, but she knows how dangerous the 'internet' is, and doesn't clik. I probably helped a bit, but she's no fool (and getting to Be old requires both Luck and lack of foolishness, as anyone who has attended a High School best friend's funeral -whilst still attending said school- will attest).
    INEXPERIENCE is key, age is immaterial.
    That said, good advice, go talk to your 'elders' about computers, learn all about the Michaelangelo virus/trojan.. it'll be fun.
    ("I -know- it's hard to believe, but back Then, we were Incredulous, it was -unimaginable- that someone with impressive skills would use them to Damage someone that they didn't know at all.. I know, NOW it's commonplace and fully Expected.. it Is a brave new world, to coin a phrase -- just waiting to get my ticket punched, me.. not havin' near as much fun these days..
    rotsa' ruck, as my WWII vet friend useta' say" /sarc)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  17. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    I like the photo of people in their 70's for an article about people over 55.
  18. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    That picture though! ahaha
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    But aren't people in their 70s over 55 too?
  20. Techstar

    Techstar TS Member Posts: 94   +18

    So are dead people that died at age 90. Hardly makes it relevant to the story.
  21. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Ah, but the article isn't about dead people. What would be the sense in that? :)
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    Maybe we should have a "poll thread" to satisfy the apparent demand for specificity in the uber new , uber clever, uber geeky, and uber banal among us. (You know who you are).

    Something like:

    A: How many of you here at Techspot use the internet?

    B: How many of you are still living and under 55?

    C: How many of you died before the age of 55?

    D: How many of you are alive and over the age 55?

    E: How many of you over 55 died recently or are planning to die soon?

    F: (U) For those who simply don't know which end is up: "All of the above"

    Und tanks fer ur support an par-tiss-ee-pay-shun!:p

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