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Millennials and Gen Zers are most likely to fall for phishing emails, study finds

May 2021 by Atlas VPN

There is a common misconception that older people, who tend to have less experience with new technologies, are easier to scam online. However, recent data findings suggest that just the opposite is true.

According to data analyzed by the Atlas VPN team, Millennials and Gen Zers in the United States are more likely to fall for phishing emails than their older counterparts. In total, more than one-fifth (23%) of people from Gen Z and the Millennial generation have been tricked by phishing emails in the past.

Gen Zers and Millennials are followed by Generation X. A total of 19% of Gen Xers have been fooled by email phishing scams. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are the least likely to fall for phishing attacks. Only 9% of them have done so in the past.

In addition to phishing scams, Gen Z and Millennials are also most vulnerable to other types of cybersecurity threats. More than half (52%) of people from these generations have had a password stolen or at least know someone to whom this has happened, while 48% have also had a social media account hacked or hijacked.

“While younger generations are more tech-savvy, they are also very accustomed to doing everything online — from communicating with friends to shopping or conducting financial transactions,” says Ruth Cizynski, cybersecurity researcher and author at Atlas VPN. “This daily use of the Internet from a young age makes them less cautious about engaging online or giving out their personal information.” Americans feel safer online at work than at home

Having experienced cyberattacks in the past, many Americans now worry about their online privacy and data security. Surprisingly, they feel safer while using the internet at work than at home.

Only 32% of adults in the country fret about their data and security when using the internet at work. Privacy is a concern for 36% of adults. The number of worried Americans nearly doubles when it comes to using the internet at home. Overall, 64% of American adults said they are uncomfortable browsing the web at home, while 62% are worried about their data and security.

Of all environments, however, the majority of Americans worry about their data and privacy when using a public WiFi. Privacy on a public WiFi is a concern for 70% of Americans, and data security is a concern for 69% of Americans.

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