How individuals conceptualize their accountability related to digital technology. There may also be age-based vulnerabilities resulting from personal perceptions about the importance of engaging in best-practices. However, age may not be as critical as experience when it comes to implementation of these behaviors. Using the Cybersecurity Behaviors subscale of the Online Security Behaviors and Beliefs Questionnaire (OSBBQ), this study compared the self-reported cybersecurity attitudes and behaviors across college-aged individuals from Generation Y and Generation Z. Data were derived from a convenience sample of predominantly African-American and Caucasian respondents (N=593) recruited from two public universities in Virginia, USA. Four of the eight OSBBQ subscale items demonstrated significant differences between Generation Y and Generation Z adults. Generation Y adults reported greater reviewing of privacy policies on social media, maintenance of antivirus updates, watching for unusual computer performance, and acting on malware alerts, but no significant differences on the other items. It is reasonable to assume that the observed elevated scores were accompanied by greater individual knowledge of information security simply because of being older as a cohort, suggesting that the group was also more experienced and less likely to perceive themselves as invulnerable to online victimization.

Note on the Author(s)

Scott M. Debb, Ed.D., Department of Psychology, Norfolk State University, Brown Hall: 216, Norfolk, VA 23504, USA.

Daniel R. Schaffer, Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology, USA.

Darlene G. Colson, Norfolk State University and Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology, U.S.A