The Millennial generation tends to have a lax approach to online privacy protection – and it might put all of our security in jeopardy.
Those in their teens, 20s and early 30s – the “Millennials” – have widely prompted discussions as they enter and redefine the modern workplace. Recent information gives us a more in-focus picture of the general operating philosophy of this age group when it comes to handing out personal information over the internet. It’s been found that a devil-may-care attitude is much too prevalent.
A survey from the University of South California’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future revealed that more than half of the Millennials it questioned would willingly give their personal information to companies in exchange for some sort of coupon or incentive. And then a disconnect occurs because the same study interestingly showed that 70 percent of those same Millennials believed their personal data should be kept private.
Perhaps the young Millennials simply don’t have enough experience to understand why giving away their personal information is so detrimental. The older Millennials, however, choose to ignore that their loose surfing, online buying and phone habits leave behind a digital footprint. They disregard that their identity and their online privacy is a type of currency, and the more they squander it now, the less they have later. And all the while, Facebook and other social networks are all too willing to profit from this data.
This isn’t to say that other generations were impervious to making bad decisions in the folly of youth. They just weren’t made in the online world we now know. How much easier it was when our bad decisions were wrapped in privacy! We have to remember, too, that online privacy protection is not the onus of just one group of people. It’s up to all of us to ensure that we’re not putting ourselves in danger through our digital interactions.
John Sileo is an online privacy protection expert and in-demand speaker on digital reputation, cyber security and online asset protection. His clients included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, Visa, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.