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First Data 2017 Consumer Cybersecurity Study: baby boomers have better cybersecurity habits

  • Study examines consumer habits across generations
  • Data shows that baby boomers demonstrate more concern and diligence for cybersecurity than millennials
  • Millennials are more trusting of social media and less trusting of online banking than older generations

NEW YORK, 2017-Oct-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — As people around the world grapple with the latest news about data breaches and cyber threats, First Data (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, today announced the results of its 2017 Consumer Cybersecurity Study. The study examined how different generations view cybersecurity threats, and found that baby boomers generally have better cybersecurity habits and are more concerned about protecting their personal information than younger generations. The study is based on survey data from approximately 800 U.S. consumers.

“The results of the survey underline why businesses need to deploy state-of-the-art solutions to address the risk of cyber threats,” said EJ Jackson, Senior Vice President, Head of Security and Fraud Solutions at First Data. “Fraudsters are using increasingly complex schemes and not all consumers are employing best practices, but there is technology that can help businesses and financial institutions mitigate the risk.”

Baby Boomers are Better with Password Protection

The study showed that most Americans are still not overly concerned with password protection, although baby boomers are more diligent than millennials. Younger generations may be considered more tech-savvy than their parents’ generation, but according to the First Data study, a staggering 82% of millennials reuse passwords on websites and apps, and 42% will only change their passwords when forced.

On the other hand, a slightly smaller majority (70%) of baby boomers reuses passwords on websites and apps, and 32% change their password only when prompted.

Millennials Trust Social Media more than Online Banking

The study also looked at how generations think about online banking. Baby boomers have more trust in financial institutions than younger generations but less trust in social media sites. Baby boomers are also less likely to think that their method of online banking could be breached. One in five (19%) baby boomers thought it was unlikely there would be an online banking cyberattack compared to just 14% of millennials. When it comes to social media security, however, 63% of baby boomers thought social media was vulnerable to cyberattacks, while only 45% of millennials agreed with that statement.

In general, baby boomers showed more concern around current events as well. Only half (49%) of millennials have a heightened concern about their online security following recent cyberattacks, in comparison to 65% of baby boomers.

Baby Boomers Leading the Pack for Workplace Cybersecurity Practices Too

When it comes to the workplace, baby boomers generally exhibited better habits and understanding about cybersecurity than younger generations. The study found baby boomers are more likely to not only have a workplace security policy but also to actually review and execute on it as well.

Additional highlights around the workplace included:

  • 72% of baby boomers hardly ever store work-related data or files on their personal devices, compared to 69% of millennials.
  • 86% of baby boomers hardly ever download free applications or software to their work devices without consulting IT, compared to just 75% of millennials.
  • 34% of baby boomers always consider whether their online actions pose a cybersecurity risk for their workplace, compared to only 21% of millennials.
  • 82% of baby boomers think their employer has provided them with adequate training and resources to avoid cybersecurity risks at work, compared to 77% of millennials.

For more information, please visit the Security and Fraud Solutions section of First Data’s website.

About First Data

First Data (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in more than 100 countries around the world. The company’s 24,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 2,800 transactions per second and $2.2 trillion per year.

Media Contacts:

Hally Sheldon


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