Ever left your wallet or phone unattended on the bar? Your keys in the door? Your car unlocked? Remember that cold stab of panic when you realized what you’d done, and the relief you felt at what could have happened if your stuff had slipped into the wrong hands?
What if I told you that you’re doing exactly the same thing day in, day out, with your most precious and sensitive data? But instead of doing it in the “real” world, you’re simply doing it online without even knowing it.
Yup. If you’re a Millennial, I’m afraid you have a pretty poor reputation when it comes to keeping your digital assets safe. You’ve earned your name as the most lackadaisical generation ever in terms of online security. And it’s making you a prime target for hackers.
So what exactly is going on?
After all, you’re tech‐savvy. You practically grew up online. You can find just about anything on torrent sites and spent half your teens and/or your 20s on Facebook and Instagram.
And it’s not as if you’re naïve. Research shows that Millennials are the most cynical consumers out there, immune to advertising, demanding authenticity and researching products on trusted blogs before they buy.
Surely, when it comes to something as serious as your safety, you understand the pitfalls?
But that’s just the trouble. Millennials are so over‐familiar with online platforms and tools that, as a generation, they’ve developed a giant blind spot to the risks they pose.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you expect things to work fast. You want to take the simplest, most hassle‐free route to the information or resources you need. You want to be productive and efficient and you hate wasting time. Messing around with layers of security and encryption, generating different sign‐in details for every site – this stuff slows you down.
It’s easy to see why. Millennials are the most connected generation in history. Your data is spread over dozens of sites. And although scarcely a month goes by without a new data breach scandal – whether it’s leaked photos from Snapchat or financial information from Dairy Queen – nothing seems to stop the willing flow of personal information online.
Hackers exposed 348 million personal accounts in 2014. And 594 million people, including 44% of Millennials, were affected around the world.
While skipping recommended security measures might seem like a time‐saving measure in the moment, the fallout from cyber-crime will cost you, on average, $358 and 21 hours of your life.
And the thing is, it’s far from inevitable. In most cases, a few simple interventions can save you a world of frustration.
Installing one of the top-rated antivirus software like McAfee, Norton or Bitdefender will keep you protected from the most nefarious bugs and malware.
Remembering to change your password now and again and adapting it slightly to each site you use will stop things snowballing if someone manages to break into any one of them. Even better, the top antivirus companies offer features such as McAfee's SafeKey and Norton's Identity Safe, which securely manage all your passwords for you so that you only need to remember one
For many people, just having a password for your smartphone or laptop (and keeping all your passwords to yourself!) would be an excellent start.
This isn’t about building Fort Knox around your online identity. It’s about taking some basic precautions to prevent you tearing your hair out further down the line.
... After all, I can think of better ways to spend a hard‐earned three hundred bucks. Can’t you?
Ready to lock the door to your online data? To sort out your shaky security straight away, click here to browse our great deals on top-rated antivirus software