Safety took on an entirely new level of importance in 2020. Even in the world of technology, safety of data is different with so many people working from home or remote locations. That is not changing anytime soon. Organizations have had to think outside the normal working conditions to ensure their information, resources and data are safe.

But how safe is your personal data? Do you even know all the locations that holds your data? Work, home, (which may be the same now), social media?

I often hear some variation of the claim that “young people today just don’t care about privacy.” This is something that people widely seem to believe is “just true.”

Protecting your personal data has certainly never been more important. A recent survey revealed that baby boomers (birthdates early-to-mid 1940s to early 1960s) and millennials (1980s to early 2000s) disagree in their attitudes toward federal cyber programs. Is anyone surprised by that?

Both baby boomers and millennials have access to the same technology. However, the behavior towards technology and its usage differs between the two generations.

At 83.1 million, millennials now officially outnumber the baby boomer generation by roughly 8 million. One of the main distinguishing factors between the two generations is technology – the adoption of, the comfortability with, and the responsibility for its continued evolution.

Younger people felt more in control of their privacy online, perhaps explaining the lower concern among that group. Half of 18 to 29 year-olds felt they could control their privacy online, compared with around 34 per cent of those aged over 40. Young people were also more likely to have changed the privacy settings from the default on their social media platforms than older users.

All four generations — millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and traditionalists — share a lack of trust in certain institutions. Every generation trusts online retailers and social networking websites or applications the least with the security of their data, with only 4% of millennials reporting they have a lot of trust in the latter.

Millennials may see these types of businesses as more susceptible to data breaches, or they might not believe they hold the security of customers’ data in high regard in the first place. In any case, this is a miss on the part of online businesses, as this lack of trust likely deters millennials from fully interacting with them.

Expectations of personal privacy in the digital era primarily appear to be related to age. Of all generations, millennials are the group most likely to say their data are being kept private — and by a considerable margin. Twenty-nine percent of traditionalists and 32% of Gen Xers and baby boomers feel the same about the privacy of their personal information. Traditionalists are more likely to say their personal information is kept private “little” or “none” of the time.

Teens often are engaged in a process of identity formation that involves not only exploring different concepts of self, but presenting such identities to others. That is something teens have always done—but today it’s done electronically.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.