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Safer Interent Day highlights need for change - Yubico comments

February 2024 by Yubico

Safer Internet Day (6th February 2024) aims to raise awareness around the need for a safer and better internet for all. The day will focus on change online, including young people’s perspectives on new and emerging technology, using the internet to make change for the better, and the changes young people want to see online.

Due to emerging technology and increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks, staying safe online has never been more important. Although young people are perceived to be more ‘tech savvy’ than older generations, a recent survey has found Gen Z has adopted worse cybersecurity habits than Boomers, with 33 percent saving their credit card information online and 39 percent admitting to using the same password for multiple accounts.

¬Ahead of Safer Internet Day, Niall McConachie, regional director (UK & Ireland) at Yubico, comments on the best cybersecurity practices younger generations can adopt to stay safe while online:

“Safer Internet Day is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness around the need for better cybersecurity practices. According to a 2023 survey conducted by Yubico and OnePoll, Gen Z has adopted worse cyber habits than Boomers, which puts their online accounts at significant risk of cyber attacks. Despite this, the survey found that 90 percent of Gen Z respondents are concerned with the cybersecurity of their online accounts, and while improved awareness is a great first step, change is needed to stay secure from increasing cyber attacks like phishing.

“The first step is improving basic cyber hygiene practices – for example, the survey found that Gen Z is more likely to use the same password for multiple accounts compared to Boomers. Although policies requiring passwords to become increasingly complex and more frequently updated have demanded more from users’ time and memory, simple passwords are easily guessed. Once a password is stolen, cybercriminals can successfully bypass other login methods, such as a code sent by text message. One effective way to address this is with modern passwordless technology, such as phishing-resistant hardware-based passkey authentication like security keys.

“More often than not, Gen Z can adapt easily to new technology, meaning technology such as hardware security keys could be a great leap forwards for ensuring safety while online. Unlike passwords, passkeys are physically stored on users’ devices such as phones, computers or security keys and can’t be intercepted or stolen by remote attackers. This Safer Internet Day sheds light on the ineffectiveness of passwords, and how more platforms and services should enable passkeys to create a safe and secure internet for all.”

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