What did you do on November 21, 2017 when you heard about Uber’s data breach and that 57 million customers and drivers had their personal information compromised? Did you delete the Uber app off your phone? Or did you say, “Oh wow, that stinks. I hope I wasn’t affected”—and then request an Uber a few hours later for a ride to go meet your friends?
If you’re part of one of the younger generations, like Millennials (born around 1980-1995) or Generation Z (born around 1996-present), there’s a good chance you kept the app and just hoped you weren’t impacted. For example, research from Mintel found that while consumers are becoming increasingly protective of their personal information, Millennials are much more prone to oversharing relative to their Baby Boomer parents. Mintel’s research says that 60% of Millennials claim they’d be willing to provide details about their personal preferences and habits to marketers, whereas Baby Boomers are much more protective of their personal information.
How Do Young Adults View Privacy?
For younger generations, privacy seems to take on a different meaning than it does for older adults. Young adults do want privacy—Harris Interactive found that 78% of Millennials expressed a wish for privacy, and Pew Internet learned that users 18-29 are more likely to have cleared their browsing histories, disabled cookies, or declined to use their real name on a website. However, the definition of privacy can vary.
Young adults seek privacy when it comes to their personal lives and how they are perceived online by their peers. They don’t want their parents or relatives to find out all the juicy details of their lives, but they do want classmates and friends to only see the images they’ve curated on social media. They’re hiding personal information not because they’re afraid of identity theft, but because they’re trying to create a boundary between their family life and the life they present “socially” to their friends.
What’s the Right Age to Start Thinking About Identity Theft?
Millennials and Gen Zers have grown up in a digital world. They willingly post personal information on Google, Facebook, and countless apps and websites.
“The services that Google and Facebook give us are so good that people are willing to trade off their privacy for them,” said Professor Noel Sharkey, speaking at Cheltenham Science Festival. “If you grow up with that, that is what you know to like.”
It’s just becoming normal for younger generations to rely on services like Uber, Uber Eats, and even Uber Kittens. Some are aware of the risks involved, but view the rewards and convenience as outweighing the potential harm.
Our digital society has opened many doors, and it’s certainly not all bad, but before sharing personal information, ask yourself (or the young adults in your life) these questions:
- What type of personal information do I feel comfortable giving to a stranger?
- By using this app or service, am I okay with knowing a thief could steal my personal information?
- What would happen if my identity was stolen?
At IdentityForce, we are in the business of protecting identities. We’ve witnessed data breaches at some of the biggest companies with seemingly the best security measures in place. It’s important for all of us to take control of our personal information and our identities. IdentityForce makes this a priority by providing support and resources to consumers. We even just released our new Social Media Identity Monitoring Suite to help further safeguard social reputations and personal information.
Now is the time to start thinking about identity theft and the consequences now. If you are the parent or guardian of a teenager or young adult, start educating them about digital dangers and ways they can protect themselves. While we can’t have that conversation with your children for you, we can help you protect their identities. With our limited time offer, for as little as $9.95 a month, you’ll have access to our 24/7 monitoring services, you’ll be alerted to any suspicious activity, and you’ll be backed by our $1 million identity theft insurance policy. Help protect yourself, and your family, by signing up for our identity theft protection service, today.