Millennials Twice More Likely to Fall for Phishing Scams Compared to the Elderly

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Millennials are twice more likely to fall for phishing and online scams, compared to baby boomers, according to a recently concluded study carried out by UK’s Get Safe Online organization.

One in ten subjects aged 18-24 admitted to falling victim to phishing, compared to only one in twenty subjects aged 55 or older.

The study also showed that millennials cybercrime victims also lose three times more money compared to baby boomers, with youngsters admitting to losing £613.22 ($800) on average, compared to only £214.70 ($280) lost by the older generation.

Furthermore, when victims lose money, younger persons usually tend to lose more money at once compared to people above 55. The percentages are 25% compared to 3%.

Younger people pay less attention

The reasons for this discrepancy are in the study’s other results that show that younger people are far less careful when reading their emails compared to the elderly.

The study’s results show that only 40% of all younger respondents “carefully read and re-read all emails,” while an overwhelming 69% of all elderly persons did the same thing.

In addition, 55% of millennials admitting to carelessly “replying to or clicking links in unsolicited or spam emails,” compared to only a quarter of older respondents doing the same.

Millennials ten times more likely to have mental health issues

Ironically, the 18 to 24 age group was also more likely to suffer from mental health issues after getting scammed online, with 29% admitting to having been impacted, while only 3% of people above 55 said scams impacted their mental health.

Despite this, past statistics have shown that phishers and scammers have mostly targeted the elderly. This Get Safe Online survey puts things into a new perspective.

According to the same study, 38% of survey respondents believed that phishers are almost always young people and another 38% believed that phishers were “a large international hacking organisation.”

To dispell these assumptions, the Get Safe Online study also contained a practical experiment, with the organization recruiting and training five 60+ grandmas into the art of online phishing. The result of that training is the video below that offers basic advice when it comes to staying safe online and protecting yourself from phishing and email scams.

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A survey carried out earlier this year by Keeper, a password manager application, also revealed that millennials are also really bad at choosing passwords, 87% admitting to engaging in password reuse.

Similar reports in 2015 and 2016 also showed that baby boomers and the older generations are often more in tune with modern cyber-security practices when compared to millennials.