Online security concern raises as elders become more digital

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Younger generations are spending a greater proportion of their lives online, but they are not the only ones as people aged over 55 are also becoming more digital.


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People aged over 55 are also going digital, but concern for their online security is not converting into care (Photo:
But family members are increasingly worried that the older people are not taking necessary security precautions.
According to a study by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, the majority (84 percent) of users aged 55 and over are now accessing the internet at home several times a day and 44 percent are spending a minimum of 20 hours a week on the internet.
Indeed, as of the second half of last year, this age group owned an average of four connected devices per household, including two computers and two mobile devices.
Despite the many benefits offered by these levels of connectivity, family members have concerns that their older relatives are not taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves when online, with 60 percent of people worried about the safety of their digitally connected elders.
Forty four percent of internet users admitted their older relatives have suffered from online threats, falling victim to an online scam (15 percent), encountering malware or viruses (15 percent) and being spied on by malicious software (13 percent).
However, this worry is not necessarily translating into action and support.
Only 34 percent of those the researchers spoke to have installed a security solution in their older relatives’ devices and just 32 percent regularly educate them about online threats.
A third (33 percent) has done nothing at all to protect them, potentially increasing the risk of their advertently suffering a cyber-security incident.
“Older internet users are a vulnerable and highly lucrative target group for cybercriminals, putting them firmly in their sights for malware, spyware and email scams,” Dmitry Aleshin, VP for product marketing, Kaspersky Lab, said.
“The only way to combat these constantly evolving threats is through a combination of increased vigilance and the installation of effective security software on all devices, including mobile ones.
“This will help keep on top of the security risks and protect senior family members against any nasty digital disturbances.”