Studies Show that Younger Online Users are Prone to Clicking on Malicious Pop-ups

Towards the end of October 2016 Microsoft released some interesting study findings which uncovered that online users, between the ages of 18 to 34, were more likely to click on potentially malicious pop ups than online users who are more mature (35 years and older).

The Study

The survey targeted online users located in over 12 countries with South Africa being one of them. 12 000 people were surveyed with the youngest participant being 18 years and the oldest over 65 years.

Here’s what the study uncovered in the various age groups:

  • 18-24 years – over 13% had been scammed online at some point and had lost money due to an online or telephone scam.
  • 25-34 years – over 18% had been scammed online and lost money as a result of a scam.
  • 35-44 years – around 11% of participants had been a victim of an online scam and lost money as a result.
  • 66-year age bracket – only around 3% of those surveyed had been scammed online and lost money.

The statistics also showed that more than 50% of the participants had at one point or another, encountered an online popup that was fraudulent or obviously, a scam. Interestingly enough, the older participants in the 65-year age group weren’t found to be clicking on malicious pop-ups, but 44% of them had been scammed out of money telephonically!

How did the survey reflect on South Africans?

It would appear from the study that South African participants downright ignore scammers, which seems to be positively reflected in the stats as only 8% of all the South Africans in the study had actually been scammed online and lost money.

While the survey shows that younger people are more prone to being caught out by online scams, it also shows that fraud and scamming can present itself in many forms, and that absolutely everyone is at risk and should take precautions.

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