Surprising new research from Kaspersky, the cyber-security specialists, reveals 6 in 10 (63%) over 65s and 55 – 64 year olds (61%) are more confident in their digital comfort zones than  their digitally native 18-24 year old counterparts (38%).

With a fifth (22%) of over 65s spending up to two hours more a day online than they did pre-lockdown, the boomer generation are also turning to the internet for more of their day to day activities. Confidently taking their digital and online activity one step further, four in ten over 65s have started socialising and shopping online since lockdown, something they weren’t doing before, and 15% have taken their finances online too.

Despite perceptions that older generations might be more nervous about banking online, the over 65s were the least worried about conducting their finances online, with only a third expressing concern about this, compared to two thirds of 18-24 year olds.

This relative comfort with technology could be explained by a significantly higher number of baby boomers taking more precautions in cyber security than any other generation.  Firmly establishing their own digital comfort zones, six in ten over 55s and over 65s regularly run anti-virus scans and over half regularly change their passwords too.  These precautions seem to be working too with almost half (46%) of over 65s certain they have never been hacked.

Despite the increased confidence in online security from the older generations a surprising number are still using more dated ways to get online with a fifth (19%) of over 65s using a DSL connection.

The findings also revealed that, while almost half (41%) of over 65s rely on a family member to help with IT and digital security, the same number (45%) handle this themselves.

The research, which explored digital comfort zones, revealed that over 65s interpret this to mean feeling safe and secure online.

To help create your own digital comfort zone, the following tips have been created to help your devices and personal information remain protected on the Internet:

  1. Take your online privacy seriously and don’t share or permit access to your information with third parties unless absolutely necessary, to minimise exposure of it falling into the wrong hands.
  2. Keep your services and applications up to date by installing the latest patches and updates.  This way, your device remains protected against the latest threats.
  3. Ensure you always check permission settings on the apps you use, to minimise the likelihood of your data being shared or stored by third parties – and beyond – without your knowledge.  You might end up giving consent by default, so it is always worth double checking before you start using an app or service.
  4. There is no substitute for strong and robust passwords.  Use a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Password Manager to generate and secure unique passwords for every account and resist the temptation to re-use the same one over and over again.
  5. To find out if any of the passwords you use to access your online accounts have been compromised, use a tool such as Kaspersky Security Cloud.  Its account check feature allows users to check their accounts for potential data leaks.  If a leak is detected, this will provide information about the categories of data that may be publicly accessible so that the individual affected can take appropriate action.

The full report More Connected Than Ever Before: How We Build Our Digital Comfort Zones, can be viewed here.

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