As one of the fastest growing generation in the history of our species, baby boomers are shaping our lives today and will continue to have a huge influence in future generations. Baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – are often perceived to be lazy, technologically inept and out of touch with the world. But according to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, most baby boomers are much more digitally savvy than previously thought.
Nearly half (49 percent) of adults aged 65 and older say they have used at least one digital device in the past month, such as a smartphone, tablet or personal computer. In addition, nearly three-quarters of baby boomers (73 percent) have used the internet at least once in the past month, compared with 66 percent of the generation following them, known as millennials, and 59 percent of Generation Xers, according to the study.
The research was based on a survey of 2,859 U.S. adults conducted online from May 4 to July 26, 2015. The sample included 796 adults aged 18 to 69.
Other findings from the study:
* The vast majority of both baby boomers and millennials report using multiple devices at least monthly. In fact, 82 percent of baby boomers and 87 percent of millennials use multiple devices.
* Baby boomers are more likely than millennials to have used email in the past month. Sixty-one percent of baby boomers have done so compared with 36 percent of millennials. Millennials are more likely to have made phone calls to friends and family (63 percent versus 58 percent), but baby boomers have used social networking sites more often than millennials have.
* Baby boomers are more likely than millennials to have used the internet in the past month. Eighty-three percent of baby boomers have done so compared with 75 percent of millennials.
* Baby boomers are more likely than millennials to report using search engines like Google or Bing in the past month.
* Both baby boomers and millennials are fairly evenly split in terms of which devices they use most often. The top choices are smartphones and tablets, followed by computers and laptops. The least used device is the television.
How data breach can affect Baby Boomers
As we have been seeing more and more data breaches come to light, one of the most prominent recently being Yahoo!’s data breach involving almost 3 billion accounts, many are wondering how many baby boomers fall into this category. While the vast majority of baby boomers are not affected by a data breach thanks to solutions such as Delphix there are several scenarios in which they can be personally affected. Below, we will break down the specifics of the two most common ways in which a boomer may be affected by a data breach:
This happens when the information contained within a data breach allows someone to commit identity fraud or obtain personal information from someone else who has a relationship with the individual in question. In the case of the recent Yahoo! breach, users of Yahoo! Mail were affected by this type of breach; the hackers were able to gain access to email addresses and passwords. The hacker then took advantage of this data to set up new email accounts that look just like the original user’s account. Once the user logs into their account, they are prompted to enter their password which, in turn, grants access to all the personal information stored within.
This includes email messages, contacts, calendars, photos, and documents that belong to the original user. This means that while the user’s bank accounts are not affected by the breach, other financial information and personal information may be compromised, such as credit cards, Social Security numbers, birth dates, etc. If this information is used by the hacker, then they are able to commit identity fraud and steal money or commit financial crimes.
In order to protect against this type of identity theft, users should implement anti-fraud measures. One such measure that can be taken is the use of two-factor authentication, which requires a user to verify their account login by entering a code received through text message or email. Another method is the use of passwords, which are long, random strings of characters that are changed every few months.
While it is likely that the majority of boomer adults are not affected by these types of breaches, it is worth remembering that the data stored on our computers is also valuable and, as more and more data breaches come to light, the risk of this type of breach occurring increases. This means that boomer adults need to take steps to protect themselves. It is recommended that boomer adults download a free email service such as Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo! Mail, which offer the option to sign up for two-factor authentication to ensure that even if a hacker gains access to their password, they will not be able to gain access to their information.
Health Care Fraud
The second most common way in which a boomer may be affected by a data breach is in the case of a health care fraud. As more and more medical records are stored electronically, the possibility of a hack occurring is becoming increasingly more likely.
According to the National Committee on Vital Statistics, there are three ways that information can be stolen in a health care fraud:
1. Information may be stolen from an individual directly, such as in the case of a patient being robbed by a thief posing as a doctor.
2. Information may be stolen from a physician and the individual may not be aware of the theft.
3. Information may be stolen from a third party, such as a hospital or laboratory, and then used by a thief to perform fraudulent activity.
In the case of the recent Yahoo! breach, the hackers gained access to information that was stored online. This included personal information that could potentially be used to commit health care fraud, such as medical records. If the stolen data contained sensitive information such as insurance information, this could be used to commit health care fraud.
Boomers needs to be aware of the fact that they may be affected by a data breach in the future. This is why it is important to make sure that the email address and password that are used to access online services are unique to you.
In addition, you should also be wary of any apps or websites that request your personal information such as your name, email address and other personal details. You should never use the same password for multiple accounts and never share your passwords with anyone.