Grandparents targeted by ransomware, young adults by TikTok scams

Press release – Avast

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

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

The research, part of an in-depth 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 or laptop computer to log in. . This makes them more vulnerable 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 .

In contrast, young 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, downloaders and FluBot SMS scams. spreading malware and Instagram and TikTok scams promoting adware or Fleeceware. Across all devices, younger and older generations are also the target of phishing attacks and romance scams.

According to data from Avast Threat Labs, on desktop computers, Avast blocked an average of more than 1.46 million ransomware attacks each month in 2021, and between January and April of this year there were 5 .9 million attempted tech support scam attacks worldwide each month.

On mobile devices, the top threats in the last quarter were: adware (59%), mobile banking trojans (9.7%) and downloaders (7.9%), which are harmful applications that use social engineering tactics to trick victims into installing more malware or other programs. unwanted apps. FluBot has also spread widely on mobile in most countries, including New Zealand, where Avast blocked 3,500 attacks per month in August and September this year, out of an average of 35,000 attacks blocked worldwide per month. months in the third trimester.

“Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to steal your data, personal details or money through increasingly sophisticated online scams and 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 the mark,” Jaya said. Baloo, chief information and security officer at Avast. .

The most important Internet activity for 18-24 year olds is the use of social networks (37%). For 25-34 year olds, it’s staying in touch with friends and family via messaging services and emails (40%), and for 35-44 year olds, it’s banking and financial activities (40% ). This shows why the younger generation is being targeted on their smartphones with Instagram and TikTok scams, FluBot SMS and email phishing scams that appear to come from friends or family, and mobile banking Trojans.

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

Jaya Baloo added, “Of course, younger generations are also susceptible to desktop threats as they use desktop devices as a 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 to different devices and that you discuss all of these threats as a family so that everyone is up to date and knows how to stay safe no matter what device they are on. She uses.

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

“As a rule of thumb when logging in, whether on your computer, laptop, or smartphone, if something is wrong, don’t continue. Don’t click on a link in an email, text, a social advertisement or website, do not enter your personal or payment information, and do not download. It is better to be safe than sorry.

“It goes without saying that you also need to ensure that you have strong digital protection not only for your computer but also 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 against 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 Internet.

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

About the search:

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

About Avast:
Avast (LSE:AVST), a FTSE 100 company, is a global leader in digital security and privacy, headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic. With more than 435 million online users, Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect users against Internet threats and the changing IoT threat landscape. The company’s threat detection network is one of 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 rated and certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, SE Labs and others. Avast is a member of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, No More Ransom, and the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit:

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