Over-55s ‘savvier and safer’ than young people online, claims report

Young people are more than twice as likely to fall victim to online fraud than over 55s, according to new research.

Oct 23, 2017

Young people are more than twice as likely to fall victim to online fraud than over 55s, according to new research. A study by online safety charity Get Safe Online found 11 per cent of 18-24 year olds have lost money to ‘phishing’ scams, compared with one in 20 older people. The cost of these crimes is also far greater for under-25s who lost an average of £613.22 to each cyber attack, while ‘baby boomers’ lost just £214.70. The true impact of cyber scams may be even higher, as just 27 per cent of victims report online fraud. Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, said: “There’s a common misconception that as ‘digital natives’ younger people are savvier and safer online. “However, as our report shows, this isn’t the case. When it comes to staying safe from cyberscammers, older may actually mean wiser.” Research from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau shows that almost half of fraud reported in the UK is now committed online. Forty-nine per cent of people have been targeted by internet fraudsters and eight per cent have fallen victim. The Get Safe Online study suggests older people are more likely to be targeted by criminals than the younger generation, as 47 per cent reported an attack compared with 36 per cent of under-25s. The difference in victimisation rate may be due to poorer online safety standards among young people – just 40 per cent said they carefully read all emails they receive. Another 51 per cent admitted to regularly clicking on links in spam messages, despite this being a common technique used by phishing fraudsters. In contrast, 69 per cent of over-55s said they scrupulously checked all online communications. Nearly one in four respondents believed offenders were more likely to be young and 23 per cent thought that “advanced technical skills” were required to conduct cybercrimes.

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