Research into the online safety of children has found that 65% of young people are unable to identify a phishing attack and cannot tell the difference between a scam and a legitimate email. Additionally, 48% of children (11-15) who say they are knowledgeable about online security have been a victim of a phishing scam themselves, highlighting a growing concern that Generation Zs over confidence towards online safety is putting them at risk.
Overconfident and oversharing
Although many under-18s believe themselves to be “cyber aware”, Kaspersky research reveals today that over half (59%) still admit to including personal information such as their name and date of birth on social media channels. 57% stated that they would also be prepared to disclose their pet’s names and favourite TV show on online quizzes.
This naivety contrasts with their assumed level of cyber knowledge, with online games and quizzes often used as vehicles for threat actors to gather as much information as possible on individuals.
Education for the Generations
Research also reveals that only 29% of adults are currently helping their children or younger generation to identify phishing scams. In fact, 30% of adults, by their own admission, aren’t knowledgeable at all when it comes to online security, with 17% admitting that they have been or are unsure if they been a victim of phishing scams. This suggests that there needs to be more online education and information for all ages to help every generation stay safe online.
“Knowledge is power. But knowledge alone isn’t enough when it comes to online security,” said David Emm, Principal Security Researcher Global Research and Analysis Team, Kaspersky. “Our findings show that a little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing for children. The over confidence we highlight in the report, is putting them at serious risk from online threats.”
Emm continues, “For this reason, online safety education needs to be broadened from the dangers of content, to also cover the kind of attacks we are exposed to every day online. And cyber security education can’t just be for children, but it also needs to be extended to the older generations. As things stand, we have adults either not talking to children about online security, or if they do, unable to help them, because they don’t understand the threats themselves. Right now, it’s a case of the blind is leading the blind. The situation is untenable, and we urgently need more awareness and more education.”
Kaspersky ‘Overconfident and over exposed: Are Children Safe Online? followed 5,369 children and 5,665 adults across 7 countries in Europe. The research asked respondents about their understanding around online security, whether they knew what a phishing scam was, how much information they share online and who they relied on to help them identify potential threats. To download a copy of the report, please visit: https://media.kasperskydaily.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/96/2023/02/20161814/Kaspersky-State-of-Children-Online-Report-15-02.pdf