Teenagers and young adults are both easy targets among hackers. In general, the younger population is more tech-savvy compared to the adults. Students and young professionals are more drawn to new gadgets such as top-of-the-line smartphones, computers, tablets, and other devices. These latest trends in technology offer various forms of connectivity such as Bluetooth, data, hotspot, and wi-fi. And because it is mostly the younger generation who actively uses this technology, they are likewise the easiest and most convenient target among hackers.
Most teenagers and young adults are active users of social media. According to studies, 71% of teenagers are Facebook users, 52% have Instagram accounts and 41% use Snapchat. These are not surprising figures considering the fact that as much as 95% of teenagers have access to smart mobiles and half of this percentage claim that they are constantly online. In addition to these statistics, 59% of teenagers and young adults under the ages of 14 to 21 years old are also reported to be actively playing multi-player games online. Apparently, the internet is not just useful for educational purposes among this age group but is likewise a major source of entertainment, social interaction like phone dating and various recreational activities.
Given such data, it is clear to see why hackers tend to target the smart phones of individuals under this age group. Although the percentage of internet users among young adults (18-29 years) and mature adults (30-49 years) is basically the same and accounts to 98% and 97% respectively, teenagers and young adults still seem to be the easiest targets.
The top reasons for this vulnerability are;
- Because they tend to connect to public wi-fi more frequently
- They carelessly leave their Bluetooth connectivity on
- The younger generation is more attached to modern technology
- Teens and young adults spend more time on the internet for recreation
- These age groups are the ones who are actively using the social media
- Online gaming apps are more popular among kids and young adults
- Teenagers are less cautious when it comes to clicking various links online
- Students use various gadgets and internet for research and studies
- The teenage groups are the ones easily influenced by what is available online
- This particular age group uses various dating apps to socialize
All these circumstances create a suitable environment for hackers to steal information. In this modern age and time wherein kids at a younger age are already being exposed to internet use and technology, it is important to generate awareness on how to enhance, maintain and tighten online security. This is highly relevant in order to control hackers and identity thieves more effectively and to protect the young consumers of these products.
This can be done by educating them and by generating awareness about the potential dangers and risks of being online such as identity theft. Proper information dissemination and discipline can potentially increase the level of awareness among young internet users. It is likewise important to educate them about protecting their privacy and about the things that they should never post on the internet.