Oh, Behave! Global Survey. Age is more than just a number when it comes to cybersecurity

Cristina POPOV

December 01, 2023

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Oh, Behave! Global Survey. Age is more than just a number when it comes to cybersecurity

Who prioritizes online safety? Who takes the best measures for their online privacy and security? Who finds cybersecurity overwhelming and confusing? Who’s getting hit, and by which cybercrimes? The National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), a non-profit organization, surveyed over 6,000 people across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and New Zealand to better understand security behaviors and attitudes across generations.

“Oh, Behave!”, the 2023 Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report responds to all these questions (and more), and the findings may surprise you.

Depending on what generation you are part of (Gen Z 18-26, Millennials (27-42), Gen X (43-58), Baby Boomers (59-77), Silent Generation (78+), finding out you may (or not) behave like others regarding cybersecurity may inspire you to strengthen your shield or reflect on what is holding you back.

Why does it matter?

According to the study, participants disclosed 2,047 cybercrime incidents (i.e., phishing, identity theft, and online dating scams) that had resulted in the loss of money or data. Overall, 27% of participants were victims of at least one type of cybercrime—which had fallen by seven percent from last year. But, as the survey’s results show, some generations are hit harder than others.

One of the reasons is the number of online accounts. Almost half (47%) of them have ten or more accounts, including 15 percent confessing that they’d lost count. Gen Zs (37%) and Millennials (35%) reported having over 20 sensitive online accounts. However, attitudes and behaviors towards online safety weigh in even more.

Which generation is most likely to be masters of their own digital destiny?

Let’s take a look at some intriguing generational disparities that resulted from the survey:

  • Older generations (91% of Baby Boomers) prioritized online security more than younger generations (69% of Gen Z).
  • The younger generations (21% of Gen Z and 23% of Millennials) doubt online security is worth the effort.
  • Being a digital native doesn’t automatically mean being security savvy, as 43% of Gen Zs lost money or data due to cybercrime, followed by 36 % of Millennials.
  • 43% of Gen Zs and 43% of Millennials use a single dictionary word as a password, and half of Gen Z and 41 percent of Millennials admitted using names of family members or pets, dates, and places when creating passwords.
  • Millennials are most hit by cybercrime, online dating scams (44%), phishing (36%) and identity thefts (37%). Meanwhile, they felt most confident identifying malicious messages, with 70% percent declaring themselves confident.

To end up positive, 84% of participants said staying secure online was a priority, and 69% considered it ‘achievable.’

If you are looking for security and privacy solutions to make safety easier for you, check out here.



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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