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May, 2024

Baby boomers outshine Gen Z in online security practices, YouGov study reveals

Baby Boomers are leading the way in secure online practices, according to a recent study by market research and data analytics firm, YouGov.

The research, conducted for a recent YouGov Financial Webinar, found that this generation is the most likely to practice safe online habits, including avoiding clicking links or downloading attachments from unknown senders, not opening emails from unknown senders, and verifying the authenticity of emails or messages directly with the contact when unsure.

The study revealed that a significant 93% of Baby Boomers claimed they would rarely, or never, download an attachment or open a link sent from an unknown sender. This cautious approach to online security decreases with each subsequent generation, with 84% of Gen X, 65% of Millennials, and 67% of Gen Z expressing the same sentiment.

When it comes to opening emails from unknown senders, Baby Boomers again demonstrated their online security savviness. A substantial 84% of this generation stated they would never, or rarely, open an email if it came from an unknown sender. This sentiment was shared by 67% of Gen X, but only 48% of Millennials and a mere 39% of Gen Z.

The research also delved into who the different generations believe should be responsible for educating consumers about financial matters. Baby Boomers were more inclined to believe that they, as consumers, should educate themselves (34%). Gen Z, on the other hand, thought this responsibility lay with educational institutions (32%), while Millennials placed the onus on banks and financial providers (28%).

YouGov Associate Director, Fumin Rianto, said: “YouGov’s data has found that Baby Boomers are the most stringent in practicing secure online habits. This research has revealed that it’s actually Millennials and Gen Z who, although are digital natives, are the least likely to practice the proposed secure online behaviours.”

The study was conducted online between November 30 and December 6, 2023, with a national sample of 1,023 Australians.