Depending on your age and past experiences, your opinions about using electronic devices and protecting your security against marketers and hackers are likely set in stone. Older folks may be extra cautious when it comes to data security, while younger people are often a little more carefree as they look more towards convenience and a better customer experience. But is it better to completely block your devices from the outside world or is there some benefit from having less security?
Below we will talk about what millennials think about data security and the pros and cons of a differing viewpoint.
Millennials and Data Security
The long and the short of it is yes, millennials do think differently about data security, in that they take it a bit less seriously. It isn’t that they don’t care, just that many of them value convenience and an improved shopping experience, and that is sometimes easier to achieve when you don’t have your phone’s security settings on lockdown.
In addition to the convenience, many millennials just are not as afraid as their older counterparts when it comes to the threats of cybercrime. According to a Gallup poll, almost 70% of millennials say that they trust the banks and credit card companies to protect them from cybercrime and other threats. That means millennials are okay with things like digital signatures and cloud storage because they have ultimate faith in the companies that manage them.
It’s not that they don’t know that the threats exist, either. In the past six months, 135 million people have had their data compromised on social media and most are aware of the major data breaches that have occurred at retailers like Target. However, if many millennials have not been personally affected, they are unlikely to change their mind.
With all of that said, the question remains. Is putting your personal data out on the internet for all to see a good or bad thing?
An Argument for Convenience
Many businesses are taking advantage of new technology to create better services for their customers, but sometimes doing so requires them to see our personal information. Millennials often love these services. However, not everyone will be on board.
One point of contention is that many companies track customer behavior, including what we buy and what we look at while we are surfing the web. Once they know what we like, they use targeted ads to purposely show us advertisements that they believe will appeal to our wants and needs. For some customers, this may feel like an invasion of privacy, but many millennials love that they can be introduced to new products that they love and they can buy them there and then.As technology continues to grow, many other industries are also taking advantage and improving their service for ultimate convenience for the customers. Even the post office has a new system called Informed Visibility Tracking, which allows customers to see exactly where their packages are and when they are delivered. Some may believe that this system puts too many eyeballs on what they buy and deliver, but many millennials and like-minded individuals will love the convenience.
Cybersecurity Is Important, Too
Although it is clear that technology is making our lives easier, users of all ages must always be aware of the threats and scams perpetrated by cybercriminals and protect their devices accordingly. Any piece of information that is stolen from your device can be used for malicious means. That includes social security numbers that can be used to create fake identities and even your email address, which hackers can use to send phishing emails. Needless to say, convenience is nice, but not having your data or money taken by a cyber thief is just as important.
All electronic devices should be secured with a strong password and a form of two-factor authentication unique to you, like an eye or finger scan. On top of that, users should be cautious when accessing public Wi-Fi because by connecting to the wrong network, they can instead be connecting directly to a hacker, giving them unlimited access to your device.
Furthermore, millennials that do not like the idea of sharing their shopping trends with the big companies can change the settings on their social media apps and at the websites of the retailers so that their privacy can be protected.
In the end, striking a healthy balance between convenience and security is key. Be smart whenever you use your favorite device and you can have the best of both worlds.
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in topics related to how education, business, and technology intersect with the personal. She enjoys travelling to beautiful places and learning more about her cultural and environmental surroundings. You can connect with Ainsley on Twitter and Contently.