U.S. News: When It Comes to Cybersecurity, Millennials Throw Caution to the Wind

Despite being the first generation to have grown up using the Internet, studies indicate millennials can be surprisingly unaware of online security threats they face.

In fact, a 2013 survey by Marble Security, a mobile threat intelligence and defense company, found that 26.2 percent of young adults born in the U.S. between 1980 and 2000 have had an online account hacked, compared with a 21.4 percent national average.

To make matters worse, many millennials continue to engage in risky behaviors online. A study last year by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Raytheon found that 72 percent of the 1,000 millennials surveyed had connected to public Wi-Fi not secured with passwords, and 52 percent had plugged in a USB device given to them by someone else. Another study from Raytheon in 2013 reported that 23 percent of millennials admitted to sharing an online password with a nonfamily member within the past year.

Joan Goodchild, editor-in-chief of CSO, an online source for news and research related to security, says because millennials value productivity and speed when using technology, they tend to see security as a hindrance to efficiency. “Millennials, who have grown up around technology and are so used to using it, might not view that device they are bringing to work or that computer they have been given to get their work done on as something as insecure,” Goodchild says. “They really see it as a tool to get things done.”

Read the full report here.