Your Voice: Cybersecurity will remain a challenge for future generations
Even as cyberthreats are common, future generations will face even greater challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the issue of cyber threats as cyber criminals took advantage of the influx of remote workers and students who had to work online, and many more targets. Cyber criminals pose a substantial threat to the national economic interests, as they deal damages by targeting a wide range of information such as economic, policy, legal, defense, and security information, all for their financial gains.
In 2020, growth of internet crime — since the beginning of the pandemic — hit a whopping 92%. According to Interpol, 60% of the total 2020 internet crimes were committed due to phishing emails that coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To have a deeper look into the demographics of internet users and their cyber awareness, a survey was shared in the U.S. that was piloted in 2020 to examine the different generational groups where they were asked about owning an antivirus software to ensure protecting their information. According to the survey findings, 23% of younger generation are not taking precautions to protect their personal data. Not only this, but also more than half of the surveyed population — 53% — of that pool turned out to be not covering their web camera.
Better safe than sorry
Considering that this age group has grown up with technology, you would assume they are the most aware out of all generation groups when it comes to cyber threats. When this age group was asked about the reasons, most responses came out as the antivirus software was either too expensive to purchase, or they didn’t see the need for the software as they didn’t believe in the value and effectiveness. With that being said, it’s worth noting that older generations — Baby Boomers and Gen X — tend to be more careful when it comes to their cybersecurity, and they are more likely to pay to protect their personal data.
It’s anticipated that the upcoming generation will face more challenges with protecting their personal information and data, considering their high usage and involvement with technology and online platforms. This generation might also face a higher risk in facing internet crimes and bullying, which might lead to depression and in some cases, suicide.
It is our responsibility to raise their awareness at an earlier stage. So as a starting point, raise kids’ awareness about cybersecurity; and make sure to emphasize the importance of not sharing personal information with others through online platforms, because kids tend to be more transparent. We should also manage their network activities by following the below steps:
• Install a GPS tracker to monitor their location.
• Capturing screen time management.
• Adding content filters to hide unsuitable content in web searches and managing the restriction level based on age.
Saudi Arabia is considered to be one of the leading countries in cyber readiness as published in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 report. The Kingdom managed to rank second globally and first among the Arab countries.
Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.