Part Of The Tech Savvy Generation? How Tech Savvy Are You Really?

You’re part of a computer literate and technically competent generation – you know, the “tech savvy generation” we hear so much about.

So, when it comes to wandering through the risky Internet neighborhood that’s arguably full of predators, you tend not to worry.

You’re convinced, that since you’re a member of this tech savvy generation, when you surf the Internet, you can handle the dangers and pitfalls that wait for the typical unsuspecting user, (the user who’s not part of your tech savvy generation).

This unsophisticated non-tech savvy group are much more likely than you, to be pounced on by the multitude of scam artists, schemers and cyber crooks lurking in the shadows, just waiting for victims. Right?

It’s entirely possible of course, that you are computer literate, and technically competent. On the other hand, simply because you are a member of that generation who have grown up with computers, does not make you tech savvy. I hate to burst your bubble, but the concept of a “tech savvy generation” is a myth.

I understand why you may have bought into this myth. People love myths. It seems that we will buy into any myth provided it agrees with, or reinforces, our already held misconceptions.

Myths of course, get their status precisely because they do reinforce our beliefs, properly held or not. This myth (masterfully propagated by the media), continues to pose serious security risks for those who believe it.

Since I’m involved in Internet and system security, I have many opportunities to deal with the “tech savvy generation”, and overall, I find them no more competent than average/typical computer users.

Unfortunately, I find that not only does the tech savvy generation not know “what they don’t know”, they don’t want to hear about it because developing knowledge is hard, and it requires time and effort. Better to just hang on to the myth.

I’ll admit, that anecdotal evidence, while interesting, does not always tell the tale. On the other hand, gather enough anecdotal evidence and one may have enough data to propose a theory, that can withstand probing and prodding.

As a tech/geek/writer, I am in touch with loads of other techs/geeks/writers from around the world, on a fairly consistent basis. One undisputed reality that we all agree on is, the lack of knowledge exhibited by typical computer users, and that members of the tech savvy generation, are no more than typical computer users.

So, if you’re a member of the so called tech savvy generation, you need to consider these realities:

Cyber criminals count on your believing the myth. It makes their job just that much easier.

There’s a major lack of knowledge and skill relating to computers/connected devices, and security, in the tech savvy generation. You really are, just an average computer user.

Common sense tips:

Stop believing the myth.

Start being proactive when it comes to your computer and connected device’s security; part of that is making sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances you will fall victim to cyber crime.

Recommended reading: Principles of Security: Keeping it Simple – by guest writer Mark Schneider, and – An Anti-malware Test – Common Sense Wins.

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22 Comments

Filed under Bill's Rants, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Guest Writers, Personal Perspective, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

22 responses to “Part Of The Tech Savvy Generation? How Tech Savvy Are You Really?

  1. Hi Bill,
    Great post and very important for people to understand. Many people who are good with complicated programs like Photoshop or Excel can still be fodder for the online thugs that have moved on to the internet.( I’m thinking of 2 people in particular who I’ve tried to get to read your blog, so you know who you are if you’re reading this, yes I’m talking to you!)
    But all your readers know people like this, very competent with a computer in many ways, but being savvy online is another story. Its sort of like the wealthy computer engineer who walks into the wrong part of town oblivious he is now in very dangerous territory, because very dangerous territory is exactly as I view the web.
    Enjoy your weekend, as usual I have to work.
    Mark

    • Hey Mark,

      Thanks. You’re quite right – skillful use of an application does not translate beyond that. Thumb texting does not equate to tech saviness.

      I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your friends dropping by. :)

      Working on the weekend is sort of a bummer, but hey, you have a terrific job.

      Best,

      Bill

  2. Liam O' Moulain

    Hi Bill.

    Because I read your blog faithfully, I’ve gotten a great education in good security practices.

    Most of my buddies, part of the savvy generation, are totally lost in even elementary security practices. They do believe they’re pretty well invincible since they grew up with computers.

    Great article – lots of truth.

    Thanks.

    Liam

  3. Hi Bill,

    Thanks to you, and a couple of other tech bloggers, I have learned a great deal I never knew about computers and the Internet.

    You guys do a great job in trying to educate us so we can be safe online. There will always be the ones who think they know it all, think they’ll never get caught out by someone ‘less smart’ then they are. There’s no talking to people like that. They’re the kind who say they hate the police and yet who do they call when something goes wrong? Or say they don’t believe in a higher power but scream out “Oh God!” when things get dicey. (I’m an atheist lol)

    You guys don’t have to help us, you just do it and some of us truly appreciate that help.

    Thanks Bill, to you and all your fellow bloggers who give freely of your time to educate us in the dangers of the net.

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      I hear ya – I do a little bit of that screaming from time to time. :)

      You’re right – there are some great bloggers out there, who are always ready to pitch in. I’m lucky that a number of them are my good friends.

      Have a great weekend.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I’m not “tech savvy”, I didn’t grow up with computers. When I grew up, it was a novelty to have a telephone.

    But I think I am “tech smart”. What I mean by that is I realize I’m not invincible on the internet, and act accordingly ( which means with paranoia and caution). So far, it has worked, the worst I get is a few tracking cookies now and again.

    Great article.

    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      Well, I don’t want to disagree, but you are definitely “tech savvy”, and “tech smart”. I’ve been privileged to watch your development, and it’s been amazing.

      Best,

      Bill

  5. Awesome post Bill! Well said!

  6. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Thanks for that, sites like yours have had a lot to do with raising my awareness. I think I’ve always been security conscious overall, but I didn’t realize how bad the internet could be until I started visiting your blog. I came to realize just running AVG and Zone Alarm wasn’t enough lol.

    Having an interest in this kind of stuff definitely helps too. That’s part of the problem these days, people just think if they can’t see a problem, there isn’t one. If they dug deeper,they might be surprised.

    Have a good weekend.

    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      Totally agree.

      The problem with many users is, if you gave them a shovel they still wouldn’t dig any deeper. :)

      You have a great weekend as well.

      Best,

      Bill

  7. Bill,

    Another home run of an article! Ironically I was sitting around a table this evening and listening to several that were coming across as the “tech savvy”. I just listened and was biting my lip the whole time.

    I love it when I hear someone say “my kid is a computer whiz”… Well, if you are a parent and you don’t know the first thing about computers and the internet, then how can you determine who is a whiz and who is not.

    They are all “prime for the pickins”…

    Rick

    • Hey Rick,

      LOL! Well, I went through the identical experience last night when I was out with a bunch of non techie friends – one reason I wrote this article today.

      I drove me crazy listening to how Chad, Susie, and Jimmy are computer wizards. Except I know better, since I had to change Chad’s, Susie’s, and Jimmy’s boat anchors, back into working computers more than once, because of malware.

      You couldn’t be more right “They are all prime for the pickins”. I bet you dug a hole in your lip :)

      Bill

  8. Hey Bill,

    All it takes is a little of that “Not so Common” “Common Sense” as we always say. I know plenty of Tech savy and not so Tech savy people and sometimes it is hard to tell them apart. If you know what I mean.

    Great Article

    TeX

  9. Siam

    Our poor myth-guided youth …

  10. Bill,

    To demonstrate how “Tech Savvy” folks are, I posted an article about “Bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine” over a year ago. I want you to read the comments section of this article on how people are expressing frustration (ranting) about “Bing” (which I have not experienced)… I really think many of these folks think I own “Bing”…

    http://whatsonmypc.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/bing/

    Of course, I am loving every minute of this!

    Rick

  11. John Bent

    Hi Bill

    I came very late to computers and only did so through work about 12 years ago. Even then I had no interest in the internet until I decided to go on a “millennium bug” course in 1999 (whatever happened to the “bug”?).

    Now in my late 60s, I never tire of learning about new internet-related things, especially regarding security. I have to admit that getting a virus about 5 or 6 years ago did a huge amount to concentrate my mind on the subject!

    I guess people won’t learn unless they want to, or are made to, accept that they are not invincible.

    Luckily for the rest of us there are guys like you who make it their business to help keep the scamscum at bay. Power to your elbow.

    Kind regards

    John

    • Hi John,

      The millennium bug – how wrong can we be!

      My own experience has been; older users are much more concerned with security than the “tech savvy” generation. I supposed we’re mature enough to see the sense in admitting what we don’t know, on the one hand. And, on the other hand, we’ve seen enough of life to understand that things may not always be, what they appear to be.

      A virus infection, as you so rightly point out, has an amazing capacity to refocus one’s attention. :)

      Good to hear from you.

      Best,

      Bill