Grandma and Grandpa are sexting? Yup, says a new survey of 50- to 75-year-olds conducted by security firm McAfee. The research suggests older social media and smartphone users are also oversharing at an alarming rate, putting them at greater risk for identity theft.
More than half of older Net users have shared their email address online, while a little more than 1 in 4 have published their cellphone number or their home address.
The group’s bad habits extend to their smartphones, McAfee says: 1 in 3 don’t password-protect their gadgets, meaning anyone who finds their lost iPhone or Android could have full access to any data on the device.
That might include the ability to spy on some embarrassing messages: 24% of older mobile consumers have used their device to send “intimate personal photos, texts, or emails,” McAfee says. Respect your elders’ privacy, kids.
“Thanks to social media, societal norms have undergone a seismic shift in the past five years,” said McAfee’s Robert Siciliano. “What was once considered private or even taboo is not only fair game, it’s expected. But this can have serious consequences from the ending of friendships to exposure to physical harm.”