New Study Finds Millennials Concerned About Privacy, But Lax On Security

March 5, 2019
A person holding a cell phone in front of them using it. New Study Finds Millennials Concerned About Privacy, But Lax On Security

Rivetz, an industry pioneer of embedded decentralized mobile security solutions, recently released a special cybersecurity report entitled “Protecting Our Digital Selves,” describing how we can protect our personal data – and thus, our digital selves – in a mobile-first world.

In a Rivetz-commissioned survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, Rivetz found that respondents were incredibly reliant on their smartphones: two-thirds of respondents were willing to allow a friend to borrow their car for 24 hours, but the same percentage was not willing to allow a friend to borrow their smartphone for the same amount of time.

If their smartphone was stolen, more than 90 percent of respondents said they would find it important or extremely important to prevent someone from accessing the content on their smartphone if they lost it. But, despite fears of losing their smartphones, younger generations were found to be much less concerned about protecting their data than other generations. Twice as many Gen Xers (66 percent) and Baby Boomers (62 percent) thought it was important that all of their IoT devices communicated with one another securely than Millennials (33 percent).

Beyond the personal data we exchange between our devices, perhaps the most sensitive data any of us has is financial; Millennials and Gen Zers were twice as likely (14 percent) to stay signed into online banking accounts than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers (7 percent).

With just a username and password, anyone can gain access to a person’s online information from almost any device in the world. That seems small comfort to most respondents – 71 percent of whom did not believe their data is secure if they sign in on a device they don’t own. “Our smartphones are an extension of ourselves,” said Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz. “Our devices are so personal – they are our digital identity. It is paramount that we put users in control of their data by protecting their devices with simple and safe built-in solutions.”

When asked whose responsibility it was to keep their data secure, a striking 91 percent believed the duty was their own. Given this reality, two-factor authentication (2FA) appears to be a viable solution for users to enable an extra layer of security and control over their own data. 2FA requires not only a username and password but also another piece of information unique to you – such as a security code sent to your mobile device via text or app. In fact, 92 percent of respondents felt 2FA kept their data more secure. The same percentage (92 percent) also believe it is worth it, in the long run, to take a little longer to log into their accounts to avoid data breaches in the future.

When asked what types of accounts on which they would enable 2FA, 91 percent chose bank accounts, 53 percent chose health records, 49 percent chose email, and 39 percent chose social media. Twice as many Gen Zers would use 2FA for cryptocurrency exchanges, compared to Baby Boomers or older (22 percent).

Rivetz’s best-in-class security solutions hinge upon access to the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which is an isolated, measured computer environment separate from the operating system already built into millions of mobile devices. By provisioning all digital transactions through the TEE, Rivetz assures that users’ private keys cannot be altered or stolen if the operating system were tampered with or infected by malware.

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