The danger behind all the advanced technology and security solutions

Computer users got spoiled over the years: only a handful of people nowadays have high computer-related abilities and can perform complex tasks

Improved technologies can be more difficult for less tech-savvyPeople might get overwhelmed by the advanced IT solutions and stay away from learning.

Internet and technology helped people to access more information and get everything that they need with a few clicks of the mouse.[1] There are so many security measures and functions that technology can offer. Unfortunately, the digital world and advanced IT solutions make users more susceptible, trusting,[2] lazy. People also don't have time or energy to use those resources available to them, so knowledge is not improved. We tend to rely on AV tools and do not think about possible risks in opening the suspicious email or looking online how to uninstall this program when the main pop-up screen does not have the direct uninstall button. Users want everything simplified and made “to-go.”

The internet changed our experience and the whole existence because communications and everyday habits got altered. Ordering food, furniture, clothes, and other things became as easy as connect with friends across the ocean. Before the internet, households had one computer or television, and people need to take care of those machines because of the demand and deficit of supply, in most cases.

Nowadays, kids at the age of 6 or 8 get their first phone and more often smartphone than any less advanced model like a flip phone or the one that only has essential functions, but not the internet connection. It seems that only a few people rely on the knowledge and learning about new things, technology, and technical things. Google has all the answers, so books become useless things.

Child usage of devices riseMore and more seven-year-olds know how to use smarphones.

People do not have the knowledge needed to solve more complex tasks

Before this technology age, people had to try various settings, change preferences, or even programs on the device to see what happens and then try to change everything back to default or find the needed set for themselves. Sources were limited, especially if you were a foreigner not knowing the English language and had basic computer information.

People made things from scratch, learned about technology, programming, the internet, and did that individually, first-hand. Learning to work with Microsoft Office package programs, web browsing, and other computer functions was new and challenging. Still, people managed because advanced ad computers had far fewer features than our smartphones these days.[3]

Now, these skills are easier to learn because there are many sources that you can use. First of all, you only need to google the particular IT issue or any different thing that you need to solve, and the internet has answers. Quick and easy, with a few clicks. Before the internet and all those wiki-how sites, people had a few pages and databases where the information could have been found. If you were lucky enough at all.

Old computers were easier to learn onPeople tend to learn more themselves when the sources are limited.

Levels of knowledge required every day

The research shows[4] that only 5% of the population have the needed knowledge to complete medium-complex tasks. It is believed that it is irrelevant to have more advanced skills because there are specialists and experts in particular fields. The research included easy tasks and more difficult problems. Everyday tasks that include one or two steps and can be used on a daily basis should be easy for the majority of the population who are at least similar to computers.

Online meetings and calls became widespread and common due to the pandemic that overcame the world these past few years.[5] Creating a meeting in the scheduling application, finding information from several emails, and similar more time-consuming and skill-requiring tasks were in the more advanced category. The results got defined based on the level of proficiency:

  • 14% of adult population – below Level 1. One function task and problem that is defined can be solved, but anything more advanced than deleting the email from the email application can be too difficult.
  • 29% – Level 1. Tasks that involve more transformational solutions or information gathering like finding all emails from one person require this level of knowledge.
  • 26% – Level 2. Requires generic and more specific technology application knowledge in tasks like finding a particular document related to one topic, sent as an email from one specific sender at a certain date.
  • 5% of adult population – Level 3. The group of most skilled people. This level requires people to have the ability to react to unexpected outcomes and issues that occur. Level 3 task is to schedule the meeting, find the number of emails sent by a particular person the last month related to the topic.
  • 26% – cannot use the computer. During the research, a large part of respondents never tried to do the task required.

Computer, online security skills can depend on generational differences

Hacks and data breaches of various scales become more and more common.[6] These incidents can contribute to security fatigue and helplessness when it comes to sophisticated attacks. People should be more in control and take measures to improve their online security and overall computer skills. Common issues with IT and security knowledge can be broken down based on generations.

Generations and knowledge in IT differBased on your generation you can be more or less proactive in online security.

Gen Z born between 1997 and 2012

These people can claim to have the ability to keep their data safe, but it is known that this generation can't take care of their password security. These are people who got exposed to the internet and technology at a reasonably early age. However, Generation Z is less concerned with online security habits. These people turn to google every step of the way and probably cannot search deeper than Wikipedia if they need to use a database or a physical book. Generation is more likely to employ an expert or an older person if they cannot find the solution themselves because it takes too much time to try.

Millennials born between 1981 and 1994

Gen Y or Millennials are more concerned about security and can get a medal for using the two-factor authentication, other security measures, and securing their data online. More than 40 percent of this generation says to take care of their privacy online and relying on security tools. More than half of millennials say that they often lookout for new ways of keeping their personal information secure. This is the most proactive generation.

Generation X born between 1965 and 1980

These are the people nervous about their personal information and hacks. Gen X is the most concerned out of the generations, but the one group of people who rarely take additional steps to be more secure online. Taking time to learn about online security practices and scams, security issues, risks is essential.

Baby boomers born in 1964 and earlier

This group includes people age 55 and up. This generation is more concerned because they have less knowledge and cannot be sure that they understand all the risks. Baby boomers are most likely to open spam email they also think about passwords more and try to have different logins to all platforms. These people should think about other security measures and two-factor authentication.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

Gabriel E. Hall is a passionate malware researcher who has been working for 2-spyware for almost a decade.

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