Let’s travel together.

The Cyber Security Attack Divide: Grandparents Targeted By Ransomware, Young Adults By TikTok Scams

 New research from Avast (LSE: AVST), a global
leader in digital security and privacy, today revealed that
older and younger generations are being targeted by
different online threats based on the primary device that
they use to go online.

The research, which forms part
of a comprehensive global study with YouGov into digital
citizenship trends, found that a majority of New Zealanders
aged 55-64 (61%) and over 65 (73%) primarily use their
desktop computer or laptop to go online. This makes them
more susceptible to ransomware, tech
support scams
, spyware/Trojans, and Botnets, which can
be accidentally or unknowingly downloaded or accessed via
links in emails or through malicious websites.

contrast, younger New Zealanders mainly use their smartphone
to go online (18-24 – 67%; 25-34 – 80%; 35-44 – 65%) making
them targets for Adware,
mobile banking Trojans, downloader and FluBot SMS scams
spreading malware, and Instagram and TikTok scams promoting
or Fleeceware.
Across all devices, younger and older generations are also
targets for phishing attacks and romance

According to Avast Threat Labs data, on
desktops Avast blocked on average over 1.46 million
ransomware attacks each month in 2021, and between January
and April this year, there were 5.9 million tech support
scam attack attempts worldwide each month.

On mobile
devices, the top threats last quarter were: adware (59%),
mobile banking Trojans (9.7%), and downloaders (7.9%), which
are harmful apps that use social engineering tactics to
trick victims into installing more malicious or otherwise
unwanted apps. FluBot
has also been spreading widely on mobile in most countries,
including New Zealand, where Avast blocked 3,500 attacks
monthly in August and September this year, out of 35,000
attacks blocked on average globally per month in

“Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways
to steal your data, personal details or money through
increasingly sophisticated scams and online threats. They
often take into account how younger and older generations
use different devices to launch targeted attacks, adapting
them to current cultural and usage trends to make them more
relevant and likely to hit their mark,” said Jaya Baloo,
Chief Information and Security Officer at Avast.

most important internet activity for 18-24 year olds is
using social media (37%). For 25-34 year olds, it’s
staying in contact with friends and family via messenger
services and emails (40%), and for 35-44 year olds, it’s
banking and finance activities (40%). This shows why the
younger generation are targeted on their smartphone with
scams on Instagram and TikTok, FluBot SMS and email phishing
scams that look like they’ve come from friends or family,
and mobile banking Trojans.

In comparison, the most
important activities for the older generation are banking
and finance activities (55-64: 55%, 65+: 70%), followed by
staying in contact with friends and family via messenger
services and email (55-64: 47%, 65+: 56%), and using a
search engine (55-64: 33%, 65+: 38%). This helps to explain
why they are more likely to be targets for key threats on
computers including ransomware, email phishing scams and
spyware/Trojans targeting their finances, and tech support

Jaya Baloo added, “Of
course, younger generations are also susceptible to
desktop-related threats as they use desktop devices as their
secondary tool to go online, and vice versa older
generations also use smartphones, but it’s important that
New Zealanders understand the different types of online
threats that are targeted at different devices and that you
discuss all of these threats as a family so each person is
up to date and aware of how to stay safe whatever device
they happen to be using.”

“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

“As a rule of thumb, when going online,
whether it’s on your computer, laptop or smartphone, if
something doesn’t feel right, don’t continue. Don’t
click on a link in an email, SMS, social ad or website,
don’t input your personal or payment details, and don’t
download. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

goes without saying that you should also make sure that you
have strong digital protection not only for your computer
but for your smartphone, which is becoming even more
important with growing mobile threats. Look for an
all-in-one solution, like Avast Ultimate which is available
for up to ten devices to protect users and their families,
and protects you from different types of threats, including
ransomware, adware, malware, spyware and phishing attacks,
while also securing your network via a firewall to prevent
hackers from accessing your computer via Wi-Fi and the

To find out more about Avast Ultimate,
available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, visit:


the Research:

Avast ran a survey among 16,147 online
users in 17 countries around the world. Avast commissioned
the survey to the research institution YouGov in Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, India, Japan,
Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom
and United States, and to the research institution Forsa in
Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The survey was run as a
representative survey among over 1,000 people in each
region, apart from Austria and Switzerland, where Forsa
surveyed over 500 people each. The global data points in
this report are covering results of all regions, apart from
data points that show results by age groups or gender, where
results from German speaking markets are



(LSE:AVST), a FTSE 100 company, is a global leader in
digital security and privacy, headquartered in Prague, Czech
Republic. With over 435 million users online, Avast offers
products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect people
from threats on the internet and the evolving IoT threat
landscape. The company’s threat detection network is among
the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and
artificial intelligence technologies to detect and stop
threats in real time. Avast digital
security products
for Mobile, PC or Mac are top-ranked
and certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, SE Labs
and others. Avast is a member of Coalition Against
Stalkerware, No More Ransom, and the Internet Watch
Foundation. Visit:

Keep in touch with

© Scoop Media


Comments are closed.