Cybercrime. The younger generation provides a soft target for fraudsters

06-07-2016 |   |  By Paul Whytock

We all know the younger generation are much more into social networking than silver-surfers but recent research has shown they are laissez-faire to the point of being dangerously relaxed about the online security of their personal data.

In extreme cases the same research showed that some were totally unaware of the danger of online fraud and identity theft. Not surprisingly this makes them highly vulnerable to cybercrime.

A report by fraud prevention experts Cifas came up with some startling facts when it studied the online attitudes of people in the 18-24 year old age group. Here’s the summary from Cifas.

Only 34% say they learnt about online security when they were at school.

50% believe they would never fall for an online scam (compared to the national average of 37 per cent).

Only 57% report thinking about how secure their personal details are online (compared to 73 per cent for the population as a whole).

What does all that mean? Well the research figures showed a 52% rise in young identity fraud victims in the UK. In 2015 nearly 24,000 people aged 30 and under were victims of identity fraud. This compares to 15,766 in 2014 and is more than double the 11,000 victims in that age bracket in 2010.

The fact is networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and other online platforms are now a hunting ground for identity thieves and the younger generation are less likely than any other group of people to install anti-virus software on their mobile phones. Not great when considering that 86% of all identity fraud crimes are perpetrated online.

EU moves against the fraudsters

In a long-term move against cybercrime, German chipmaker Infineon has signed an arrangement where it is going to work with the European Commission on the development of improved online security systems.

The European Commission recently signed the contract for a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO.

Representing the private sector, ECSO will work directly with the European Commission to improve Europe’s industrial policy on cybersecurity. As part of ECSO, Infineon joined the signing ceremony at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The aim of the contractual PPP is to promote, encourage and build a strong, harmonised and competitive cybersecurity market across various sectors such as energy, transport, health and finance. The partnership is expected to raise around €1.8 billion of investment by 2020 and with this develop innovative and trusted cybersecurity solutions, products and services in Europe.


By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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