Millennials putting themselves at risk online: Norton

Norton has revealed that while people under the age of 35 are concerned about their safety online, they are not doing much to secure themselves from being victims of online crime.

Recent research from Norton has revealed that while millennials, those under the age of 35, are most at risk of online attacks, they are not taking appropriate action to protect themselves.

The nationwide poll of 1,000 Australians, half of which were aged under 35, found that security concerns were very strong among millennials, with 62 percent concerned about their online information not being safe, and 50 percent worried about who can see their information. The study also showed that half were worried about identity theft.

Despite these concerns, the research showed that 72 percent of millennials do not have security software, 58 percent are not running regular security updates, 48 percent do not use complex passwords, and as much as 72 percent do not back up their devices regularly.

This is in comparison to 29 percent of Australians aged 55 and over who conduct regular security updates on their devices, with 55 percent of them having security software.

At the same time, 55 percent of millennials revealed that they had been impacted by a security virus, 26 percent had been affected by a phishing scam, 14 percent had been subject to online identity theft, and 14 percent had dealt with ransomware attacks.

Mark Gorrie, director of Norton by Symantec for the Pacific region, said that while the concern is there, it's not translating into action.

"The millennials are the most digital savvy, because they have grown up in the digital world; they are doing a lot online. But they do have concerns about security and privacy. They're aware of those risks and are concerned about them, but they're actually doing little to protect themselves," he said.

The Norton survey also revealed that 28 percent of millennials admitted to sharing everything that happens in their day-to-day life online, with Gorrie pointing out that they're a generation of oversharers. This is compared to the generation of 55-year-olds and older who consume more than they are posting.

"With oversharing, the potential for [the millennials] is regret of what has been posted. 14 percent of the millennials had identified they had regret posting content online, which then could lead to the reputational impact on them as well," Gorrie said.

In terms of reputational impact, Gorrie said one in three millennials admitted to being warned by their employer about the content they had posted online.

"Obviously, they're very relaxed about what they're posting online, and it shows there's potential of inappropriate content being posted up there, and the fact that employers are discovering it and having to raise it with them is a concern," Gorrie said.