New Delhi, IAS. Hackers are targeting the elderly and children more. They are targeting senior citizens and middle-aged people with ransomware attacks, while youth are falling prey to various scams on popular apps like Instagram and TikTok.

Research by cyber security company Avast found that most people aged 65 and older and those in the 25-35 age group primarily use their desktop computers or laptops to go online. This leaves them vulnerable to ransomware, tech support scams, spyware/trojans.

On the other hand, people between the ages of 25-34 and 35-44 mostly use smartphones to go online (87% each). This is followed by 18-24 year olds (85 percent). Make them the target of adware, mobile banking. Trojans that spread malware, downloader and flubot SMS scams and scams promoting Instagram, TikTok adware app or fleaware.

Young and old generations across all devices are also targets for phishing attacks and romance scams. The report is part of a wider global study with UGOV into digital citizenship trends.

Jaya Balu, Chief Information and Security Officer, Avast, said cybercriminals often take into account how the younger and older generations use different devices to launch attacks. Adapts them to the way they are used so that they are more likely to be robbed. According to data from Avast Threat Labs, the company prevented an average of more than 1.46 million ransomware attacks on desktops every month in 2021.

Between January and April of this year, there were 5.9 million tech support scam attacks globally every month. On mobile, the top threats in the previous quarter (Q3) were adware (59 percent), mobile banking Trojans (9.7 percent) and downloaders (7.9 percent), which are malicious apps and use social engineering tactics to trick victims. Huh.

The report said Flubot is spreading widely on mobile in most countries, including India, where Avast prevented 3,500 attacks monthly in August and September this year. Of this, 35,000 attacks were blocked globally on average per month in the third quarter. The most important Internet activity for 35-44 year olds is using social media (36 percent). For 55-64 year olds, it is banking and finance activities (38 per cent), followed by video calling with friends and family (32 per cent).

This explains why these generations are targeted with Instagram and TikTok, Flubot SMS and email phishing scams on their smartphones that seem to have come from friends or family and mobile banking Trojans, the report said. Huh. Balu said, different generations may see the Internet with different eyes and have different online experiences, which should be taken into account when talking about online safety at home.

Edited By: Ashish Deep