“Gen Z,” the next generation after millennials, are starting their careers.
Born after 1996, the oldest Gen Zs are now 23. According to the Pew Research Center, they are the first generation to be “digital natives” – the first to have no memory of life without mobile phones or a life not lived online.
“Some 45% of teens say they are online ‘almost constantly,’ and an additional 44% say they’re online several times a day,” writes the Pew Research Center.
As there is no agreed-upon end date yet for this generation, many are still in their teens or younger. But this generation rivals Baby Boomers in size, researchers say.
Because of their digital native upbringing, Gen Zs make IT Security experts nervous.
Surveys show Gen Z:
- Doesn’t give a second thought to sharing personal information online
- Doesn’t worry about using the same password on multiple sites.
- Has already lost at least one device with access to their work email.
“Perhaps the most startling discovery though is that 28% of Gen Zers said they would be willing to provide their passwords to a third party,” according to a Sailpoint 2018 survey.
Other researchers found that Gen Z cannot go more than four hours without the internet.
“Gen Zers are rarely seen without their smartphones or another connected gadget in hand — tech is automatically their “go-to” solution” notes FEI Daily. “If you’ve already made changes and/or modernized your workplace to reflect (Millennial) preferences, you’re on the right path to accommodating Gen Z. If not, it’s probably time to start thinking about more flexible work policies, reconfigured office spaces, and tech upgrades.”
Another study, by WP Engine, noted that Gen Zs expect to hand over personal data to get customized experiences on the web.
“Over two in five (44 percent) will provide their personal data to enable a more personalized experience over an anonymous one,” the WP Engine study noted. “Additionally, 44 percent of Gen Z would stop visiting a website if it did not anticipate what they needed, liked, or wanted.”
For the Baby Boomer and Gen X businesses now hiring Gen Z and giving them user access to company technology, it might be time to rethink IT security and privacy.