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BizReport : Research archives : March 05, 2009


Identity theft rises, Gen Y most at risk

Identity theft is on the rise and Generation Y is the group most at risk, reports out this week suggest. However, this group of youngsters appears less concerned than their older counterparts.

by Helen Leggatt

Nearly 10 million Americans fell victim to identity theft in 2008, accounting for $48 billion in losses, reports Javelin Strategy & Research. However, the average loss is falling as consumers detect fraud faster.

Older Internet users display a greater concern for protecting their online information. While Generation X and Baby Boomers have a high level of concern about identity theft, Generation Y, those aged 19 to 30, have a rather lackadaisical approach, reports J.D. Power & Associates.

Carter Truong, senior manager in J.D. Power & Associates' Web Intelligence Division attributes the difference in levels of concern to differing levels of technological prowess. "Younger consumers tend to be more tech-savvy than older consumers, which gives them several benefits in protecting against identity theft," he said.

"For example, their personal computers tend to be better protected and they're more likely to recognize - and avoid - phishing scams than are older generations. However, younger people also tend to have more of a presence online, leaving them open to more chances for identity theft."

Social networks, in particular, are places where Internet users let their guard down despite knowing the dangers. Many are sacrificing the security of their online identities for the sake of self-expression. "While social networking sites can be a hot spot for identity theft, people see these sites as a way to express themselves, and limiting or changing their profiles makes them feel like they're censoring their identity," said Truong.






Tags: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, identity theft, J.D. Power, online identity, online security, self-expression, social networks








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  • David

    Stupid 18 to 24 year olds !!! You patronize dumb sites like Facebook and Twitter and give out your personal info like it was no big deal.

    You dumb little shits ... you deserve to be ripped off

  • Don

    I dunno bout this. As a member of Generation Y I must rise to my people's defense and point out the paradox in this article: despite being able to recognize scams, we're more vulnerable because we use the internet more? Perhaps. I guess it could just be a matter of probability: the more sites you visit per day the more chances a few of them will be scams. And some folks are a little dumb: using your birthday as your myspace pass is basically an invitation to HACK freely.

    But on the other side of the coin, it was *I* who taught my parents and boomer relations of the joys of, among other things, extended validation ssl -- "That's right grandma, just look for the green url bar. Is it turning green? No? Get off the site. I know it's not your favorite color, grandma, that's not the point...". I also feel strongly that the generation after Y may kill the phishing movement once and for all: if everyone knows not to click on unencrypted sites, phishers fail, right? Anyhow, I see the point of the article but I suppose as with most similar assertions it's a bit generalizing.





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