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Why Gen Z thinks cyber “isn’t worth the effort”

A major new study has revealed an urgent need for accessible, cost-security cybersecurity training.

Just 36 percent of 6,000 global survey participants reported having access to education programmes, primarily through employment or education, said the report from the National Cybersecurity Alliance and behavioural risk platform CybSafe.

“All over the world, people are becoming more aware of the need for cyber training but they can’t get access to the training they need,” Dr Inka Karppinen, lead behavioural scientist at CybSafe says, adding that people are looking for “on demand, personalised nudges, when they need it”.

In better news, the majority of Britons (73 percent) are now familiar with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). And 67 percent of those who use MFA are actively using it.

Generational gaps
Gen Z (26 years and under) is twice as likely as older generations to think online security is not “worth the effort”, according the survey.

“They have grown used to sharing personal information online so they don't think cybersecurity is a priority,” says Karppinen. “It’s like fatigue and learned helplessness.”

She adds that younger people may be less wealthy and perceive they have got “nothing to lose”. But in these cases, “it’s even more important to keep your money and credit scoring safe.”

Baby boomers stay old school
Elder generations practice safer cyber habits. But not for the reasons you might think.

Karppinen says: “Older people tend to keep their passwords in physical notebooks, which is actually safer than online notebooks.”

The CybSafe expert recommends wide scale use of password managers: “They may seem daunting to some, but it’s possible to add the passwords day-by-day and gradually. What’s more, many password managers are free.”

“The rise of proactive cybersecurity measures is encouraging, showcasing improved threat awareness and readiness to respond,” says Lisa Plaggemier, executive director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

“However, emphasising the need for affordable, accessible cybersecurity measures to safeguard individuals in both the private and public sector is going to be paramount in an increasingly digital world."

To download the full ‘Oh Behave! The annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviours Report 2023’, click here

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