Editorial

‘Wassat?’ Common IT security tech terms baffle Millennials

A new study by Specops Software shows that 70% don’t know what ‘spam’ means, over a third don’t know how to delete their search history – and 67% can’t define ‘phishing’. Ouch!

Posted 21 May 2020 by

Gen Z, we know is, totally IT-savvy. How true is that of those aged 34 to 39 to (so born between about 1981 and 1986), though? The answer, as they say in the clickbait headlines, will shock you – especially if you’re a Cybersecurity professional.

To find out, Specops Software surveyed 2,445 of the so-say ‘Millennial’ age group who self-identified as regular computer users to discover which tech terms and computer tasks baffle them the most.

Specops Software

The tech task that baffles millennials the most is using a VPN. Despite its necessity to protect remote workers accessing company data, a whopping 92% can’t – potentially very worrying news for Cyber teams trying to make #WorkingFromHome a safe and easy process during Lockdown.

This is followed by enabling a firewall, which is seen as essential for protecting against attacks, only 11% know how to – 89% don’t know how.

Other simple IT tasks Millennials supposedly can’t do include:

  • Factory reset a laptop – 85% 
  • Troubleshoot problems – 43% 
  • Delete search history – 34% 
  • Search in incognito – 29% 

The task Millennials are most comfortable with is opening and running task managers (81% can do it), followed by running an antivirus scan– yet, a concerning 23% can’t do this!

When asked which technical terms they know, millennials know firewall the least – a whopping 82% couldn’t define it, while other mystery common IT terms that are also a mystery are:

  • HTML – 71%
  • Spam – 70%
  • Phishing – 67% 
  • LAN – 64% 
  • Bandwidth – 51%

Finally, 76% had to ‘Pass’ when asked if they knew what malware is, while 61% said they wouldn’t know what to do if they were hacked, compared with 39% who would. And of those that have been hacked, a concerning 73% said they hadn’t, or wouldn’t, change their behaviour. Only 27% would consider taking extra precautions to safeguard themselves for the future.