Today’s baby boomers love their computers, smartphones, and iPads, but a study shows that they’re falling short when it comes to safely using everyday technology.
For National Cyber Security Awareness month, AVG Technologies – a company that sells computer security software – did a survey to find out how boomers are doing in making sure their online lives are safe and secure.
Boomers, age 48 to 66, make up a quarter of the U.S. population. Eighty-one percent own desktop computers, 61 percent use laptops, and another 30 percent have smartphones. And, 20 percent use tablets to conduct online transactions.
While boomers are using today’s most advanced digital platforms, many aren’t aware of the resources available to protect their identities. Of the 1,300 baby boomers surveyed with home Internet access, AVG found the following:
- 65 percent don’t check online banking statements more than once a week.
- Only about 40 percent use one low limit credit card for online purchases.
On mobile security, baby boomers also need to take action:
- Almost 60 percent don’t use a cell phone password.
- 45 percent would have to manually re-enter data if their phone is lost or stolen.
- Nearly 20 percent report at least one other person knows their passwords.
- Use one credit card with a low spending limit for all online purchases. Monitor this account regularly and contact your bank or lending institution immediately about any inappropriate activity.
- Change passwords regularly, use variations for each online account, and never share them with others. The Password Meter is a good and quick way to check your passwords.
- Back up data on computers with external hard drives or a cloud-based solution. Back up mobile devices, too.
- Protect personal information on mobile devices because hackers are targeting these tools. Programs are available for smartphones that add protection from malware and remotely wipe the device if it’s lost or stolen.
- Be wary of phishing scams. Never click on links in e-mails from banks or other financial institutions. Go directly to their URL and enter login information from their homepage.