Cyber Security and the Baby Boomer, Gen X Populations

We all have someone in our lives who isn’t tech-savvy They don’t know how to convert a word doc into a PDF, or they try to do a Google search on Facebook, or they seem to struggle with the ‘simple’ act of text messagingThese are not uncommon missteps when using smart devices for people who didn’t grow up with Siri ® (let alone the Internet!) at their fingertips. While these mistakes seem harmless or even comical at times, there can be much more serious cyber security consequences.  

Baby Boomer and Generation X populations (born 1946-64 and 1965-76) are a growing target for scammers because they are a largely trustworthy population made up of financially successful people. And some of the oldest may have cognition and memory ailments. The American Journal of Public Health estimates that about 5of the Baby Boomer population, (about 2 to 3 million people)experience from some sort of scam every year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation cites that older adults lose more than 3 billion dollars a year to financial scams. 

Some of the most common forms of cyber threats that vulnerable Baby Boomers can fall victim to are impersonation scams, or fraud. This is a kind of deception involving trickery and deceit that leads unsuspecting victims to give money, property, or personal information in exchange for something they perceive as valuable or worth protecting. According to Scam Watch, in 2019 so far 10,297 scams have been reported in the 55-64 age range, and 13,323 scams have been reported in those 65 and older.  

Here are some of the top types of scams used against this population: 

  • Medicare, health insurance, and pharmacy scams in which perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative or provide bogus healthcare services for patients in order to gain access to their personal information. They may also be persuaded to buy unsafe or fake prescription medication that may harm their health. 
  • Sweepstakes and lottery fraud occur when an advertisement pops up saying you’re the lucky winner in a random website sweepstakes. This is a ploy to get people to enter their personal information, including address and credit card number in order to “claim a prize” or win money.
  • Sweetheart scams seem unusually cruel. With a majority of the Baby Boomer population dealing with the death of a loved one or children leaving home, maybe living alone for the first time, loneliness can creep in. Scammers in these scenarios pretend to be a love interest of the victim and eventually ask for money to help support them. 

The good news is that we can help the most vulnerable in this population avoid falling victim to a scamWe can have conversations to stimulate awareness of online and phone safety practices, make frequent visits and facilitate discussions about monthly bills and medications, and destigmatizing fear or embarrassment to come forward if they find they have been taken advantage of (waiting to rectify the situation could only make things worse). You can report scams to a number of organizations, including the FBI, Social Security Administration, Federal Trade Commission, or your bank or retirement facility. 

 Don’t wait until it’s too late, have important conversations with loved ones of all ages and ensure they feel empowered to make smart decisions online. 

Webinar: How Gamification, Artificial Intelligence, and Reinforcement Learning Will Revolutionize Cyber Skill Acquisition

Increase Cyber Skills with Gamification

Join Bradley Hayes, Circadence Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder Engineering and Applied Science, to learn how you can leverage AI to enhance the cyber competency and abilities.

Where offensive, defensive and forensic security tools end, Bradley will share how human analysts can leverage AI agents to anticipate, mitigate, and prevent tomorrow’s threats.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why there is a need for continuous access to dynamic skill-building opportunities using AI and game mechanics
  • How cyber professionals can automate and augment their workloads using AI-powered collaborators
  • How reinforcement learning settings positively impact timely cyber reaction and response.How Gamification, Artificial Intelligence, and Reinforcement Learning
    Will Revolutionize Cyber Skill Acquisition

How gamification, AI, and Reinforcement Learning will Revolutionize Cyber Skill Aquisition

Increase Cyber Skills with Gamification

Join Bradley Hayes, Circadence Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder Engineering and Applied Science, to learn how you can leverage AI to enhance the cyber competency and abilities.

Where offensive, defensive and forensic security tools end, Bradley will share how human analysts can leverage AI agents to anticipate, mitigate, and prevent tomorrow’s threats.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why there is a need for continuous access to dynamic skill-building opportunities using AI and game mechanics
  • How cyber professionals can automate and augment their workloads using AI-powered collaborators
  • How reinforcement learning settings positively impact timely cyber reaction and response.

Get Gamified! Why Learning Happens Better with Games with Keenan Skelly

Gamification is a new, more engaging way for cyber professionals to learn and build new skills to keep pace with evolving threats. Speaker Keenan Skelly, VP of Global Partnerships at Circadence, will discuss:

  • What gamification is and what it is not
  • How it is being applied to cyber training
  • Why hands-on cyber range learning increases information retention

Gamification as both an engagement strategy and a development strategy is proving an effective means of achieving security readiness. The approach puts a fresh spin on current cyber training options available today, making learning fun and engaging while accumulating relevant skills needed to stop today’s malicious hackers.

Circadence’s Project Ares, a gamified, immersive learning and assessment platform, runs on the Microsoft Azure Cloud. The cyber range solution provides the scalability needed for professionals to learn new cyber skills on emulated networks—positively impacting job performance.