Baby Boomers are Targets for Identity Thieves

Dec 04, 2012

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A recent survey revealed that Baby Boomers, Americans born between 1946 and 1964, are at higher risk for identity fraud because they are less-informed than younger Internet users.  In practice, this group is less aware of steps to take to protect themselves and less aware of common scams.  Sadly, identity thieves know it. 

Boomers are using digital devices more and more, including tablets. But they are often unaware of common tactics that identity thieves use, such as those phishing scams that pretend to be a banking contact asking for personal information or the wealthy individual from outside the U.S. looking to transfer funds to a U.S. bank.  Boomers that are less Internet-savvy may not know that banks or other reputable institutions do not ask for personal information via e-mail.

The survey cited above also revealed that “[n]early 60% of those surveyed do not protect their cell phone with a password; 45% would have to manually reenter data should their phone be lost or stolen, and nearly 20% report at least one other person knows their password.” 

Some Boomers are taking steps to protect their identity, though. “The survey found that 39% run manual antivirus scans more than once a month and more than 50% back up their home computer data with external media, such as CDs, jump drives or other personal storage devices.” 

With our culture of technology, it’s easy to forget that not everyone grew up with, or is even comfortable with, computers and mobile devices. Those from a more tech-savvy generation should take stock of their Baby Boomer parents’ technology use and make sure that they are well-informed and protected.  

Net Nanny can help you get started with our Learning Center, which contains a lot of basic information about online safety and tips on how to use technology.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.