IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

The generation gap: Protecting our kaumātua online

By Mitchell Hageman
Wed 30 Mar 2022

From a young age, Kiwi kids are taught the basics of cyber safety through a variety of different channels. Whether it is through school or lessons from their parents, awareness around being safe online is instilled in our tamariki who are now growing up in a device-centric world.

And for millennials and Gen Z, much of their daily working and personal lives revolve around technology, and over time and through experience they have amassed a variety of cyber skills and generally have a pretty solid foundation of online safety.

But what about those that missed out? Our kaumātua who caught the tailwind of online technology later in their life and are struggling to come to terms with many aspects of it through no fault of their own. Sadly, this demographic is the most at risk when it comes to cyber safety and often gets caught out and targeted.

A recent global report by Avast found that technology hesitancy among the older generation is significantly widespread. Out of the 2,700 people aged 55 and older surveyed, statistics revealed that only 42% use the internet regularly, 31% use it occasionally, and 27% never use it at all. 

The most damning statistic in this report was that 36% of the respondents over 55 were found to shy away from using the internet entirely because of cyber risks. Avast chief information security officer Jaya Baloo remarked that a variety of factors around cyber security prevent people in this age group from feeling comfortable and protected online, saying "the challenges start with choosing the right devices and software. Properly configuring privacy settings, setting up devices and a Wi-Fi network are also insurmountable hurdles for many as well as ongoing maintenance."

In New Zealand, the report also revealed that those aged between 55-64 and over 65 primarily use their desktop computer or laptop to go online, making them more at risk to ransomware, tech support scams, spyware/Trojans, and Botnets, which could be accidentally or unknowingly downloaded via links in emails or through malicious websites.

"Different generations may see the internet with different eyes and have different online experiences, which is something to keep in mind when having conversations about online safety at home," says Baloo.

Last year, the Detail reported that New Zealanders lose an estimated $500 million a year to overseas fraudsters online, and older victims are overrepresented in the statistics. In 2019, there was a particular increase in scammers targeting the senior Pacifica community, with RNZ reporting that there had been a significant occurrence of fake investments, dodgy shares, illegitimate cryptocurrency trading and requests for money on Facebook.

Netsafe says on its website that defrauding through deception seems to be the most common occurrence for older people through a variety of different channels and methods online. 

Banks are often a common channel used by scammers, with many NZ based banks sending out security alerts to their elderly customers. Often these complex cyber scams involve fake documentation and malicious links via email that ask for customer details under the guise of being professional and helpful, with reports of older people losing thousands of dollars.

Netsafe's website recommends that it’s important for anyone embracing the opportunities available online to adopt safe behaviours along the way, and has a wealth of resources to help.

So we know there is a significant problem and Aotearoa's elders are at risk of cyber threats more than others, so what other resources and support systems are out there to help and what are people feeling out in the community?

We spoke to He Manaakitanga Kaumātua Aotearoa (Age Concern New Zealand) about their experience in assisting kaumātua with cyber security and what families and organisations can do to help.

"Age Concern New Zealand and many other organisations are working hard to educate older people about scams, but more could be done to support people around online safety," says Age Concern NZ manager health promotion and policy Joanne Reid.

"Many older people are very keen to be online. They want to stay in touch with friends and whānau, order goods and services online, do online banking – and enjoy the entertainment available online. Importantly, they need to be scam savvy and keep up-to-date about how to be safe online."

Reid says that scams and cyber security threats can have an extremely negative effect on older people, and they often hear from relatives of those who have been targeted highlighting their concern. They also consistently hear about those concerned about device safety in general.

"Age Concern hears from older New Zealanders wanting to learn how to use their smartphone or tablet, they also want to increase their knowledge about how to use their device safely. We also hear from people who are upset because they have been scammed or from a friend or whānau member who may be concerned that an older person is being scammed."

According to Reid, often older people are embarrassed when they have been caught out by a cyber scam, and Age Concern provides a supportive and caring environment to speak openly, with professionals on board to assist in sensitive matters.

"Age Concern provides someone caring and professional to talk to. In some situations, an older person may not have told anyone else that they have been scammed. Understandably, people are upset and embarrassed, but they shouldn't be. Scammers are cunning and anyone can be taken in, especially in the busyness of life."

Reid says anyone who comes to Age Concern will be given helpful advice and support and encouraged to contact key players in the cyber world who are also part of the threat prevention process.

"They are told to contact their bank, and to report the scam to CERT NZ and the Police. Age Concern can also link them to financial support and food services if needed."

When discussing advice for families and carers of older people who may be at risk of scams and cyber threats, Reid says the best thing to do is become educated and aware of the risk and develop risk prevention strategies.

"A useful step families can take is to teach their older relatives ways to detect and protect themselves from scams. Older family members may need to be shown these things several times rather than just once. Helping their family member to check their privacy settings is another useful tip."

There are also a variety of virtual and hard copy resources out there to help, says Reid.

"Age Concern New Zealand's website has useful information and resources about online safety for older New Zealanders and their whānau. Banks, CERT NZ, Citizens Advice Bureau, libraries, the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa and the Department of Internal Affairs / Netsafe all offer information and education around online safety and can support older people to stay safe online. The Little Black Book of Scams is a great free resource available from Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission."

People can also contact Age Concern NZ by phone at 0800 65 2 105.

"Older people and their families can always ring Age Concern to seek advice, discuss options, develop a plan of action and in some instances can support advocacy with banks or raising scam awareness," says Reid.

"The more people trained in online safety the better. Everyone, including older people, whānau and carers are at risk of being scammed." 

Public Interest Journalism Fund logo
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
SaaS
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
CrescoData
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
MEC
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
GapMaps
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
DaaS
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Rackspace
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Innovation
Fastly acquires Glitch, enables faster developer innovation
"This acquisition brings together two of the worlds best ecosystems for application development into a single, seamless developer experience."
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Infosys
Consumer relationships with digital services continues to change
Two years of pandemic-induced reliance on technology for work has altered our relationship with digital apps and services, new research has found.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Women in Technology
Huawei webinar emphasises the importance of women in tech
Industry findings by Coursera discussed as part of a webinar jointly organised by Huawei and Reuters Events found 6% more women enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Sustainability
Equinix announces milestones on sustainability commitments
Equinix has released its 2021 Sustainability Report which outlines progress, innovation and accomplishments on key ESG commitments.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Alteryx
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.