Because they think it is just not safe any more?

Maybe it isn’t: 

New York, NY – June 23, 2015 – Could a generation born and bred on social media and synonymous with “selfie culture” be on the verge of a social shutdown? A new USA Network study found that more than half (55%) of young people say that if they could start fresh, they wouldn’t join social media at all and 75% say they are somewhat likely (29%), likely (23%) or highly likely (23%) to deactivate their social media accounts if major digital security breaches continue.

And, Generation Y – the most digitally minded generation to date – is going retro, turning to paper files and storage boxes to lock down their data. Brown boxes (e.g. physical filing systems) are the new “black boxes” of data, cited by Gen Ys on a scale of 0 to 10 as more secure (6.54) than their online bank account (6.22), hard drive (6.20), personal computer (6.03) or online medical records (5.98). In fact, nearly twice as many young Americans store information in physical files/boxes (32%) than on the Cloud (19%). More

Realistically, far more people say they will start or stop doing something than ever do.

Yet if the Pentagon and the White House aren’t safe from hackers, who or what is?

Millennials often don’t vote and might be low information voters, but they could reasonably be expected to know about the prevalence of hacking sensitive information. And they have every reason to worry.

Cyberhacks are likely to increase, says Pew Research Center’s poll of experts:

In May [2014], five Chinese military officials were indicted in Western Pennsylvania for computer hacking, espionage and other offenses that were aimed at six US victims, including nuclear power plants, metals and solar products industries. The indictment comes after several years of revelations that Chinese military and other agents have broken into computers at major US corporations and media companies in a bid to steal trade secrets and learn what stories journalists were working on.

The respected Ponemon Institute reported in September that 43% of firms in the United States had experienced a data breach in the past year. Retail breaches, in particular, had grown in size in virulence in the previous year. One of the most chilling breaches was discovered in July at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where information from 76 million households and 7 million small businesses was compromised. Obama Administration officials have wondered if the breach was in retaliation by the Putin regime in Russia over events in Ukraine.

I myself spent several hundred dollars last week for a computer pro from Nerds on Site to rid my (by then) non-functional system of the outcome of several different spyware programs. They (thankfully!) conflicted with each other and continually crashed the computer. I have no idea how they got in. I believe they are gone, but they may be replaced by more sophisticated spyware and malware that won’t crash the system.

Here are some ideas for protecting oneself online: For example,

4. Do not use free Wi-Fi

An increasing number of public places now offer free wireless access to the Internet. Often, a user does not need a password to connect to these wireless networks. These services might be useful, but they’re also an easy way for hackers to access everything on your device. Unless you really need it, it is best not to use it.

Come to think of it, I had been using free wi-fi for hours on the train in recent years…

5. Use HTTPS

HTTPS is officially known as “hyper-text transfer protocol secure.” It is similar to HTTP, which is used to enter Internet addresses. HTTPS adds an extra layer of security and encryption while online. Communications between users and sites that support HTTPS are encrypted. The information is also authenticated. That means that HTTPS can determine whether or not a website is real.

Now we know what difference the “s” makes.

Also, we should always keep a verified print copy of all key documents, in case electronic ones have been altered. Yes, that could happen too.

Denyse O’Leary is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger.

Denyse O’Leary is an author, journalist, and blogger who has mainly written popular science and social science. Fellow Canadian Marshall McLuhan’s description of electronic media as a global village...