ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. A recent report by Vox found Gen Z, people who were born in the late 90’s or early 2000’s who grew up with the internet, are three times more likely to be fall for online scams than their grandparents.
“I think it’s a matter of exposure,” said Google Cybersecurity Expert Michael Sinno. “Gen Z is the most literate generation when it comes to the internet, and they also spend probably the most amount of time online with various apps and a number of other things. The field is expanding with gaming social media in general internet, web browsing, email, phones. There it’s a fertile ground for bad actors to try to take advantage of people.”
Mr. Sinno says people in their twenties are not just more exposed to online scams, the attacks are also getting more sophisticated.
“Perfect example is phishing emails, right?” Sinno said. “We block 99% of them, but some still slip through. A long time ago phishing emails were pretty amateur. You could you spot it via bad syntax, bad grammar, very obvious links that went nowhere. But now they’ve gotten very sophisticated. They can look very much like the real thing. So, for example, when coming from your bank, or from an online store that you use, it can look almost exactly the same if not exactly the same, and very, they’re very, very, convincing.
To protect yourself, Sinno says you shouldn’t use the same password for all of your logins. One breach could compromise all of your accounts. He recommends using a password manager to store unique usernames and passwords for different sites.
“How does AI (artificial intelligence) factor into all this?” asked 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina. “Is AI going to make us safer in terms of protecting us or is it going to open up another window where it becomes so sophisticated, you know, my grandmother could be calling me via an AI apparition of some kind, and you wouldn’t know the difference at all.”
“I feel like AI is the next front in cybersecurity on both ends of that spectrum,” Sinno said. “We heavily use AI to secure people’s accounts to do a number of things with Google, but we are seeing bad actors trying to leverage AI to do the opposite. So again, it’s a game of cat and mouse with the attackers. No one is ahead. Actually, we’re probably ahead because we’re much deeper in the world of AI, but it is definitely going to be a game changer across the board.”
You can watch the full interview with Google Cybersecurity Expert Michael Sinno below: