April 16, 2024


Boomers are often reviled for hoarding the world’s resources, but they’re also dominating their descendants in their cyber defences.

That’s according to a new survey by Yubico, a Swedish vendor of authentication devices. The company asked 2,000 consumers in the US and UK about their attitudes towards protecting online accounts.

The responses revealed a counterintuitive divide: digital natives appear less cyber-secure than their elders.

Yubico found that boomers are the least likely generation to reuse passwords for multiple accounts (20% of respondents). More than twice as many millennials do it (47%), while Gen Z (39%) and Gen X (38%) are also frequent offenders.

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Boomers also rarely save their credit card information in online accounts (19%). Their successors are all far happier to do this. Some 33% of Gen Z, 37% of millennials, and 34% of Gen X will save the details.

A key factor in this divergence is self-doubt. Boomers are almost twice as likely to feel unconfident about spotting a fraudulent online retailer (42%) than Gen Z (23%). Millennials (29%) and Gen X (30%) also rarely suffer from a lack of confidence.

These findings don’t mean “the luckiest generation” plays it entirely safe. When it comes to multi-factor authentication (MFA), the most common users are Gen Z (59%) and Gen X (55%). Still, boomers are more likely to turn it on (53%) than those carefree millennials (48%).

Bar chart showing Gen Z is most concerned with cybersecurity for their online accounts