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back to article Lithe British youngsters prioritise fun over privacy and security

Silver surfers are more switched on about security than youngsters, even though the 18-25 age group are generally considered a more tech-savvy generation. Young adults who have been around computers all their lives tend to prioritise entertainment and community over security and privacy, according to a new survey. The survey of …

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People who've been around the block a few times...

...know a bit more about scams and arseholes than people who simply think they know everything.

Well surprise, surprise.

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Re: People who've been around the block a few times...

I'm going to print that out in 36 point and laminate it.

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Re: People who've been around the block a few times...

Is that why OAP's are constantly scammed by confidence tricksters and cowboy builders?

The report seems like a not so subtle attempt to get younger people to but more AV software. Presumably they don't buy much at the moment because they've realised how crap most of these packages are.

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FAIL

Re: People who've been around the block a few times...

"Is that why OAP's are constantly scammed by confidence tricksters and cowboy builders?"

NO, some of the people who have lived long enough to be OAPs. haven't ever been out of their own street, never mind around the block once or twice. People born pre. WW2. do have a problem, I know, one lives with us!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People who've been around the block a few times...

Well that's not entirely true now is it? I am 21 and i am very security conscious, many of the people my age are just simply ignorant of the fact that many apps rob your personal data and other bad things.

I am very aware of scams and know how to go about protecting my data, i think the reason many older people get these things are to have peace of mind because the guy in the shop told them they needed it to be safe, where as teens are like meh ill save the extra £30 because this guy is a salesman. (I know this helps your point but the hell with it)

Older folk are also more likely to listen to the tv news where they have articles telling them like children to update / secure there pc more other wise bad things will happen, most of whom are not technology people so they get scared easily.

I am not saying your wrong, because your not most of my generation think they know best on all fronts of technology am just defending people like me who take the time out to learn stuff.

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Headmaster

Re: People who've been around the block a few times...

>I am not saying your wrong

Very glad to hear that, as what you should be saying is "you're wrong".

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FAIL

And the surprise here is?

Young adults also take extreme risks in cars - hence the high insurance premiums.

There's nothing new here, the young are impulsive, eager, reckless - full of life and energy, lacking in patience. That's the joy of being young.

Comparing them to the silver surfers is pointless, if you must compare, choose the 30+ generation.

But hold on - why are we assuming even they would be more careful with computer security?

Despite the sheer volume of computers in our daily lives, for most people, it's not something they are passionate about. They just want them to work. For them, secure passwords are just a barrier (I can never remember it!) - and they'll take any shortcuts possible to circumnavigate that security.

The reality is, only IT, programmers, developers etc. - people who build computer systems - actually care about security.

It's our job to make it easier for everyone else to be more secure, so ultimately, a failure in security is actually a failure in software design.

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Anonymous Coward

Unfortunately its not one age group, it seems to be the Facebook/Twitter crowd, they are used to putting their lives out there so are less concerned with privacy, and they are also the less technically minded, just because they can use a bit of technology doesn't make them technically savvy.

Unfortunately I know people from 16 to 60 that use Facebook to put their life on show, personally I think its daft... If you REALLY had 200+ friends, how do you have time to post on a website?

I am proud of my low friend number on Facebook, consisting only of people I know in person, and that is rarely used to LIKE anything.

I am proud my Twitter account is mainly used for testing apps using the Twitter API, with the rare non testing usage.

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Trollface

" If you REALLY had 200+ friends, how do you have time to post on a website?

I am proud of my low friend number on Facebook, consisting only of people I know in person"

I have almost 300 facebook friends, all of whom I know in person. Not all of them are local enough to me that I see them all regularly but it's a good way to keep in touch.

You need to get out more and meet some more people ;)

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"I have almost 300 facebook friends"

Are you sure?

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Meh

Eh? Wossat?

"Unfortunately its not one age group, it seems to be the Facebook/Twitter crowd, they are used to putting their lives out there so are less concerned with privacy, and they are also the less technically minded, just because they can use a bit of technology doesn't make them technically savvy."

Are you sure about that?

Most people I know on Facebook have very, very little personal info entered for harvesting.

Many - like me, use a separate mail account for signing on to Facebook, too.

Most of us don't see adverts, either.

No, we know nothing about being 'Tech Savvy' .

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Re: "I have almost 300 facebook friends"

Great link! You have made my day. Am I allowed to upvote you as well? Oh, let's try it anyway...

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Re: "are you sure"

Citing a Cracked article gets an automatic upvote from me :)

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Re: "I have almost 300 facebook friends"

A lot of studies have shown that a person can maintain up to 150 friendships*. Just because you personally don't have that many doesn't make it impossible.

*See Dunbar's Number for more info. The average Facebook user has about 130 iirc.

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security only matters when you have something to secure

Silver surfers are more likely to have possesions that they value, and don't want to lose. They could be material (savings, investments) or not (credit reputation). "Gen Y" is more likely to be worried over student debts (who would steal those?), and won't have had time to build a reputation, so they probably think they have less to lose.

They'll learn, later.

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Re: security only matters when you have something to secure

Absolutely, why would you bother to spend £40.00 a year (or whatever) on security software to protect the passwords to your student overdraft ?

When I was that age I would have gladly given my bank card and PIN number to anyone in the street with the proviso that they could keep any money they extracted from the cash machine as long as they told me how they did it - I couldn't get any out and I knew all the PINs and passwords.........

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Boffin

Re: security only matters when you have something to secure

I was tickled to see who the FUD merchants are this time.

I always had problems with my laptop not shutting down until I got rid of ZoneAlarm's firewall.

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Risk assessment

It's also possible that the generation X's and Y's have experienced security problems (as the article says) and come to the conclusion that they're not that serious. Whereas the older users are more wary and consider that the internet is jam-packed full of scammers, con artists, viruses and phishing sites - all of which will suck your bank account dry (assuming the bank's online systems are working) as soon as you click on the site's link.

The younger users may well have encountered some of these "threats" and discovered that apart from some small inconvenience - such as having to run a cleaner, or fire up their AV suite - that nothing bad has actually happened: they didn't lose all their passwords, their bank accounts were left intact and nobody hacked their contact lists. Hence they're less scared of the consequences, having been there, experienced the actuality of an "attack" and come out smiling.

Alternatively, maybe the oldies just run Linux?

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Holmes

@ Pete 2 - Re: Risk assessment

Wrote :- "Alternatively, maybe the oldies just run Linux?"

Yes, I just run Linux.

One reason oldies are more careful is that, believe it or not, they were more hard up when young than the present younger generation is. Credit cards did not exist either, except American Express for the very rich. My daughter "has no money" but nevertheless would not dream of buying a second hand car or not getting the garage to do any work on it. A new car would have been unthinkable to most 20-30yo's before c1990.

Every time my daughter moves between flats (often) she leaves half her stuff behind because she can't be bothered with the hassle (clothes, cameras, cooking stuff). OTOH I still have some crockery that I know my *grandfather* bought second-hand when he first left home - it is quality stuff, tough, never chips, and has survived while newer crockery has come, broken and gone.

Things used to be of better quality, and correspondingly more expensive, although they had less frills. Furniture was solid wood, not chipboard crap. Buying a torch for example took a much greater % of your wage than today, it would have been an event, but it would have had "Made in Britain" proudly on it and if it failed in about the first year you would have taken it back to the shop, who would have been most anxious to deal with it to preserve their and the brand reputation. (I daily use a torch my father bought in 1960). Today, the younger generation will just toss something that does not work, even on the day they bought it (looking at my daughter again).

I have always been careful, even when young, and have never had anything stolen in my life; it's just my nature.

OTOH I do not insure anything except the car - don't want to subsidise all those careless people out there.

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Joke

Re: @ Pete 2 - Risk assessment

"(I daily use a torch my father bought in 1960)."

why? and how? are you so much of a scrimper that you read by torch light, rather than waste money on that new fangled electrickery?

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Alien

Re: @ Pete 2 - Risk assessment

"Yes, I just run Linux" Are you really that confident that Linux never has security vulnerabilities?

Just as Android is based upon Linux, so therefore must never have a problem? LOL

Try Unix if you wish to gain something slightly more rigid... Either way stuff requires updates and reconfiguring and decent heuristics with up to date antivirus signatures!

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Re: @ Pete 2 - Risk assessment

" "(I daily use a torch my father bought in 1960)."

why? and how? are you so much of a scrimper that you read by torch light, rather than waste money on that new fangled electrickery? "

I've binned all mine and bought new LED toys with the money saved from not buying batteries.

(it wasn't called the Never Ready Shite Rider for nothing)

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Holmes

@ Mike Brown and Elmer Phud - Risk assessment

Wrote :- ""why? and how? are you so much of a scrimper that you read by torch light, rather than waste money on that new fangled electrickery? ... I've binned all mine and bought new LED toys with the money saved from not buying batteries."

The torch *does* run on new fangled electrickery. Are you American and think a torch is a thing like the Olympic flame? It is a flashlight to you.

Why? - I use it when I go out to lock up the sheds last thing; what do most people use torches for?

How? By switching it on by means of its switch; how else?

I hardly ever buy batteries, I use rechargeables. The electricity this PC is using while I type this reply is probably more than the torch uses in a month. Even if I got paranoid about energy saving there are far more serious things to address than a torch.

When the marketing droids announce a newer LED technology (as they will keep doing) will you toss away all your torches again, and again, and again? You, sir, are a paragon of the throwaway age.

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Paid security suites?

That says to me that the oldies are being scammed - they're paying for Norton or McAfee, most likely, which only means you are paranoid and not savvy.

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Re: Paid security suites?

Kaspersky (KIS) is the best out there (imo) that is a paid security suite that i use. I do not consider myself paranoid but i can be a little over protective.

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Re: Paid security suites?

I didn't imply all paid suites are bad, just some of the household names, that's all.

Kaspersky is often very highly rated, as is ESET NOD32, F-Secure... probably a handful of others.

That said, I think MSE is good for most home users, a better browser than IE, some addons to kill ads (firefox + adblock plus comes to mind), and then you save yourself the money and are going to be pretty safe unless you really go out of your way to install dodgy stuff.

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Pint

Re: Paid security suites?

MS Security Essentials actually uses a 'washed down' version of the ESET heuristics engine... there are very few targetted attacks that get past those temporarily though...

Most are unaware of the vulnerabilities of UPNP and web-based attacks and dont bother doing updates regularly. Most also install what they believe to be a 'decent' looking antivirus but the lack of technical knowledge doesnt help when choosing.

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Numbers?

Could be a combination of mis-placed naivety and numbers.

Not taking precautions with regards to security leaves you more vulnerable, certainly, but there's so many of them that the chances of it happening specifically to them is so low they never encounter it and consider it a non-issue.

That doesn't mean there isn't a large number of young people who ARE affected by their lack of security but as long as the rest are thinking "It's never happened to me, what's the problem" then their attitudes won't change.

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WTF?

Are you kidding?

"those approaching retirement were twice as likely to protect their computers with additional security software (paid antivirus, third-party firewalls, or integrated security suites)"

Like the ones that CheckPoint sells, perhaps?

Call me a maverick, but I don't equate using Microsoft Security Essentials and other free stuff as "living life on the edge".

Scare tactics to get column inches in the regular press, methinks, and fool the less savvy into paying extra for their IT security.

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Re: Are you kidding?

Worse is the implication that checkpoint can secure you against general threats.

There is no saving a fool with a browser and admin rights (or a buggy OS).

A basic firewall takes care of most incoming connections and how many people can spot a dangerous outgoing one in amongst all the torrent traffic, Steam updates or google suggestions?

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Re: Are you kidding?

Even torrent traffic is 'filterable', steam and google are usually risks at the best of times, but no doubt if you can block utorrent, you could block them :-) depends how much control you have over the network and its nodes!

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Anonymous Coward

Dohoho.

I'm 22, currently use Linux, don't allow Java, Flash, or js to run on my box, am capable of reverse-engineering malware, am able to patch recent security exploits vulnerabilities in some cases (though I am frankly a terrible programmer, I'm not going to lie), etc.

Age isn't really relevant here at all; it'd be more interesting to see security consciousness among Facebook users versus non-Facebook users or similar.

Also, consistently running a massive, proprietary binary consisting of many thousands of lines of code that uses an out-of-date protection paradigm isn't really a good indicator of security on your box.

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Anonymous Coward

Linux

Best operating system to use however most games are unsupported on linux (BF3, COD etc)....get them working (without wine/vmware) and ill happily switch for life!

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Go

I like you! you're at least honest about your programming skills, but wouldnt reverse engineering require an adequate level of programming knowledge .e.g. ASM language? (if you go to such depths)

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah. Rather oddly, I find myself much more comfortable with x86 asm and say, Fortran than I am working with C or C++. I can code with C, but it's fiddly and nasty and the end result is going to look foul, and I do not enjoy the experience.

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Excuse me

Did you actually mention security-conscious and Facebook in the same sentence ?

Gah !

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Oc course...

..sine the economic collapse of the West is going to mean lithe cocky youngsters don't have any money cos they don't know anything except Facebook,. it scarcely matters who knows their details.

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Alert

Tech savvy?

I don't really think those people really are 'tech savvy' they're just very competent / comfortable at using consumer focussed electronic devices. They have little idea, and even less interest in the technology underneath the consumer wrapper.

That's not a problem if the hidden technology saves them from themselves when they do silly things unknowingly. But right now it doesn't; if anything it exploits their ignorance for the profit of big business.

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WTF?

I severely beg to differ

Checkpoint Software must have their facts slightly politically twisted somewhere, there are very few 'absolutely tech savvy' youngsters within the realms of SECURITY. (most are denile, egotistical and find mainly quick fixes, without going 'in-depth' into 'behind the scenes' or anything that basic virus signatures cant already detect)

As is with the nature of consumable-life IT these days...

The worst for attracting security breaches tend to be around the age ranges of 30 - 60+ (as they did not grow up with computers, which is fair enough!)

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BkS
Linux

Opinion of an 18 y.o

I'm 18, and it's no surprise that my generation are more interesting in entertainment and community. When you have companies like Microsoft pushing the Xbox 360 for gaming, entertainment & community and then also allow all of that to tie in with what you do using Windows, it's no surprise at all.

IMO, if younger people were told, or even shown infront of them just how fast their details can be taken I'm sure they would think twice. Their minds have been corrupted because of companies like Microsoft, Facebook, etc. It's the co-operate companies that paint this exact picture.

Now me, I take securit very seriously, especially as I run a computer systems business dealing with Linux, Mac OS X & Windows. As a result, my company has been built on and through Linux. I use Linux on a daily-basis and I've locked down my routers firewall, and also bought a physical firewall as well. I have a pretty sophisciated network setup, especially for my age, but I guess that comes from a background of wanting to tinker with computers and see what happens. I'm glad I can translate that passion into a business making plan and earn a living from it because it's something I enjoy.

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Happy

I'm a middle aged oldie

Maybe it's a case of once bitten twice shy ?

So saith this silver surfer !

Chris Cosgrove

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