Young People Need to Protect Mobile Identities, Too

Oct 10, 2012 11:26:32Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Young People Need to Protect Mobile Identities, Too

We recently brought you an article that suggested baby boomers need to step up their game when it comes to protecting online privacy on their laptops, computers and mobile devices. But a recent article from Australia's The Age suggests that young people are just as slow to adopt internet privacy protection.

Many young adults have grown up with the internet, and thus may take it for granted. Yet hackers are continually evolving their ways of accessing users' personal information, and young people, who may be more likely to spend time on the internet, must be extra vigilant.

"If you walk into my house you'll know a lot less about me than if you look at my browsing data," David Gorodyansky, chief executive of AnchorFree, an encryption software company, told the news source. "People have a lock on their door at home but they don't have a lock on their online door." He adds that as WiFi connections become more ubiquitous, the "bad guys" are finding it easier and easier to access more data at a faster rate.

One way to install a lock on your "online door" is by using effective passwords, which is something that many consumers fail to do, On top of this, many people share their passwords with others, or have their mobile device store this information so they don't have to enter them every time. This is dangerous, David Freer of Symantec told the news source, because mobile devices can easily be lost.

He says that smartphones give people a sense of anonymity, which means they are easily tricked by scams that may seem familiar to computer users. "We're seeing all the scams we used to see five years ago - don't open an email attachment from someone you don't know - all being reborn because people are getting what they think is a link from a friend and getting infected [by a computer virus]," he told the Age.

There are ways that young people can protect themselves against web-based scams. One way is to create effective passwords for their devices. According to Symantec, passwords should not include any personal information, such as a name, family member, or easy-to-recognize numbers like birthdays or addresses. Strong passwords should be complex, and fall somewhere between six and nine characters.