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Training across generations: Cyber education from Gen X to Gen Z

22 February, 2024

There’s no denying that, when it comes to technology, the only real constant is change.

From the days of backing-up to floppy disks to saving our data to the cloud, cyber technology has undergone a wholesale revolution!

It’s also true that new generations of employees have risen to positions of responsibility within organisations, bringing new perspectives and varying levels of technical literacy and expertise to executive boards.

With each generation experiencing a different tech era, however, the question is: how does that affect your cybersecurity, and should you adapt your training accordingly?

Join us as we share everything you need to know.

Cybersecurity training from Gen X to Gen Z

Technology differences across generations

Gen X

Born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s, Generation X witnessed the transformative journey into the digital era. They embraced the advent of personal computers and experienced the early days of the internet.

Gen Xers became adept at navigating a landscape that seamlessly blended analogue and nascent digital experiences. Their technological journey laid the groundwork for the profound changes that would follow.


Spanning the early '80s to mid-'90s, Millennials emerged as pioneers of the mobile era. Their formative years coincided with the rapid rise of smartphones and the explosion of social media platforms.

This tech-savvy generation adapted swiftly to the shifting landscape, seamlessly integrating mobile devices into their daily lives. Millennials became the architects of a more interconnected world, shaping how businesses engage with technology and each other.

Gen Z

Known as the 'digital natives,' Generation Z was born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s. Unlike their predecessors, Gen Zers took their first steps in a world dominated by smartphones and instant connectivity.

Growing up in an age of unprecedented access to information, they possess an innate understanding of digital platforms, making them agile navigators of the ever-evolving technological landscape. Gen Z's perspective is shaped by a constant flow of information, influencing how they interact with businesses and consume technology.

Generational cybersecurity challenges

Understanding the different tech eras that each generation grew up in highlights why tailored training can be beneficial.

Generation X

A cautious approach:

Having grown up in the pre-digital era, they have a unique approach to technology. Their introduction to the internet occurred when the internet was far more of a ‘wild-west’ than later generations found it, resulting in a more cautious attitude towards technology. This caution significantly influences their approach to suspicious links and privacy settings.


Unlike more recent generations, they might not depend solely on smartphones for everyday convenience, which can reduce their vulnerability to specific digital risks.

Email-oriented communication:

Having witnessed the rise of email communication, Gen X often rely heavily on email for professional and personal interactions. This reliance makes them susceptible to phishing attacks targeting email platforms.

Desktop-centric work:

Gen Xers will likely be more familiar with desktop-based work environments than later generations. This familiarity may make them less vulnerable to certain cyber threats more common in mobile-centric settings.


Social media:

Millennials, being early adopters of social media, might share significant amounts of personal information online. This openness can make them targets for social engineering attacks and identity theft.

Data shows millennials are responsible for more than a third of phishing and identity theft incidents.

App-driven lifestyle:

With the creation of mobile apps, millennials tend to handle various tasks through applications. This app-driven lifestyle exposes them to risks related to app permissions, potentially compromising their data.

Research has shown Millennials show susceptibility to online dating scams, with a staggering 44% falling victim, for example - through the use of the Tinder app.

Remote work trends:

Millennials, with a higher inclination towards remote work, face cybersecurity challenges related to securing home networks, sharing sensitive information digitally, and adapting to new digital collaboration tools.

Gen Z

Poor password practise:

Research suggests that Generation Z is more likely than older generations to use the same password for both professional and personal accounts, possibly due to the convenience of managing multiple accounts and devices.

IT updates:

Gen Z tends to overlook mandatory IT updates, possibly due to their constant interaction. The constant flow of notifications makes it easy to miss updates. (58% for Gen Z, 42% for millennials and 31% for Gen X.)

Visual and video content consumption:

Gen Z's preference for visual and video content can lead to exposure to malicious content on various platforms.

Online multiplayer gaming:

With a significant presence in online multiplayer gaming, Gen Z faces unique cybersecurity risks associated with gaming platforms, including potential exposure to scams and phishing.

Web browser habits:

Additionally, research shows Gen Z often accepts web browser cookies on their work-issued devices (48%), surpassing the rates of millennials (43%), and Gen X (31%).

Adapting training methods

A one-size-fits-all approach to cybersecurity training may not be optimal. Tailoring training methods to align with the learning preferences of each generation ensures more effective education and compliance.

Practical examples for Gen X:

Given their unique journey from the analogue to the digital age, Gen X individuals appreciate practical, real-world examples. They've seen the evolution from some of the first cyber threats to today's sophisticated attacks.

Including case studies and scenarios that resonate with their experiences helps highlight the relevance of cybersecurity in their day-to-day lives.

Interactive workshops for millennials:

Millennials, having grown up in the age of smartphones and social media, thrive on interactive learning experiences. Consider conducting workshops that encourage active participation, discussions, and real-world scenarios.

Concise and visual materials for Gen Z:

Gen Z consumes information through visual mediums. Utilise concise and visually appealing materials, such as infographics, short videos, and interactive content. This approach aligns with their preference for quick, visual information, making cybersecurity concepts more accessible and engaging.

Common cyber threats

While each generation faces specific challenges, common cyber threats require all generations to be vigilant and aware.

Employees should efficiently recognise suspicious emails, links, or messages regardless of generation.

Additionally, malware doesn't discriminate based on age.

Ensure all employees understand the importance of efficient antivirus software and regular system updates.

Emphasise the significance of strong, unique passwords across all generations. The adoption of good password practices is essential to protecting accounts.

How Bob's Business can help your organisation

At Bob's Business, we’re dedicated to building training experiences that fit the needs of every generation.

From our innovative, engaging and practical eLearning training to our phishing simulations, gamified experiences and more, we aim to establish strong cybersecurity practices within your organisation. That’s why we’re trusted by organisations big and small to deliver their training and protect their data.

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