Why Gen Z Could Pose a Cybersecurity Threat

Why Gen Z Could Pose A Threat To Your Cybersecurity and How To Prepare

In Cybersecurity, Education by Ken Nero

You may think that since they are the first full generation to grow up in the digital age Gen Zers are already well-prepared for any technological challenges and security issues that arise, but that isn’t always the case.

Since most Gen Zers grew up with a smartphone and social media, they’re more likely to share information without any regard for security. According to Entrepreneur.com, many Gen Zers struggle to distinguish between friends they met online and in real life. Cybercriminals could use this knowledge to carefully craft social media profiles to gain access to valuable information about the individual and possibly even their school or workplace.

There are many common issues that plague Gen Zers when it comes to cybersecurity. Password issues seem to be the most prevalent. According to a recent Harris Poll, 78% of Gen Zers use the same password across multiple accounts. That’s up 10% to 20% when compared to millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. Other common issues include safe browsing habits and tracking basics.

You’re likely already teaching Gen Zers within your classrooms. Over the next few years, there’s a good chance that you will hire a Gen Zer for some role in your school. You’re probably wondering how you can prepare your cybersecurity so it’s ready to handle whatever the next generation brings. It’s important that you’re proactive in your strategy. Waiting until you already have Gen Zers in your workplace could leave your information unprotected or make your school open to cyber-attacks.

Before anything else, you need to develop an information security training program. It’s imperative that your school have a well-established cyber-secure culture that everyone has bought into. That way, when you have new hires, you can put them through the same training while your other employees demonstrate proper techniques through behavior. Make sure your training is up-to-date and that you continue to update it whenever new software or technology is released.

Remember when I said that many Gen Zers struggle with password security and often use the same password for every account? If they continue to do that and use the same password for their personal and professional accounts, it could leave your organization vulnerable. Start implementing password manager programs in your school as soon as possible to avoid this dilemma. Password managers make more complicated and secure passwords that your average hacker can’t crack.

If you truly want to keep your school protected from cybercriminals, you can hire a managed services provider to take care of your IT needs. MSPs are all about being proactive. You’ll get around-the-clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, network and firewall protection, security awareness training and so much more. Basically, all of your cyber security concerns will be covered when you hire an MSP, and you won’t even have to worry about the next generation making things more difficult. As Gen Zers become more and more entrenched in the online world, it’s important that organizations across the country prepare for their arrival. Don’t wait to start to make changes to your cybersecurity plan. Be proactive and do what you need to ensure that your school is fully prepared.