When retirement makes you unhappy

BoomerCafe.com
When retirement makes you unhappy

It’s pretty common for baby boomers to look forward to retirement. But what’s also common, or at least not uncommon, is for some to get antsy once they’re retired. That’s why Deborah Quilter wrote a piece about it for our friends over at NextAvenue.org titled “When Retirement Makes You Unhappy.”

Some people find that after trying retirement, it just doesn’t agree with them. Here are three such stories of “un-retirees”— people who crave returning to work after retiring or went back to work part-time, and not only for the money.

Carolyn Bushong: ‘This is a Beautiful Prison’

Carolyn Bushong

On the surface, Carolyn Bushong has the perfect situation: The semi-retired 69-year-old psychotherapist closed her office in Colorado in 2012 and moved to Tucson when her boyfriend, a financial adviser, persuaded her to join him and retire in a warmer clime. “I have a fabulous life, a beautiful house, friends, a great garden,” Bushong recounted. “My girlfriends all are working full-time and taking care of their families. They would kill for my life.”

Yet she is deeply unhappy.

“This is our fifth year and I am bored to tears,” Bushong confessed. “This is a beautiful prison.”

Volunteering doesn’t appeal to her. Bushong misses getting dressed up, wearing high heels and networking with colleagues. Gardening isn’t giving her as much pleasure as she anticipated, either.

“The ones who count on their grandchildren for joy are the ones who are happy in retirement,” she said. “It doesn’t cut it for someone who’s always had a goal, motivation and a busy life. What gives me joy is talking to clients.”

Bushong’s partner is willing and able to foot all her bills, so why is it important for her to still get paid? “I’ve always supported myself,” she said. “I don’t want to ask my boyfriend for money.”

Retirement, Bushong said, makes her feel like she has no purpose in life. “It depresses me and makes me get less done,” she said. “I never wanted to retire. I expected to be someone who worked until you drop dead.”

Gazing into the future causes Bushong trepidation because, she said bluntly, she doesn’t want to turn into her mother. “My mom is 90. Her life is so awful and boring. She is on antidepressants. What if I live to 90?” she mused. “I don’t want to spend 20 more years with no purpose in life.”

Bushong has found it hard to start marketing herself again, however. For a while, she tried Twitter to gain clients, but the only people who followed her were other therapists.

“I do have some ideas. I’ve made a list of steps,” Bushong said. She plans to contact the Chamber of Commerce, among other things, to rev up her business.

Dave Paul: ‘I Had Lost Part of My Identity’

Dave Paul worked in management and sales for IBM in Denver until his division dissolved and he was offered a package to retire in 2002 at age 62. Retirement, Paul discovered immediately, didn’t suit him.

“I did not want to wake up in the mornings without something to do; my job is part of who I am,” he said. “I could play golf every day, but I know if I did that, I’d stop enjoying golf at some point.”

After retiring, Paul noted, “I had lost part of my identity.”

Paul now volunteers at the Denver Ronald McDonald House as a board member. But that hasn’t been enough for him. So he decided to try to go back to work full-time.

Finding a job wasn’t easy, though. Paul looked and looked and, he said, encountered age discrimination. A few jobs he did take either weren’t fulfilling or weren’t a good fit. “I sold cars for a year. I was on the Colorado parole board for a year; I visited inmates. It was interesting, but I was out of my element.”

Paul’s next move, however, was ideal and might provide a blueprint for others considering a new career in their 60s.

After doing some consulting for a mattress manufacturer that also made cushions, “I became so impressed with their technology that I came back and asked if I could represent the line.” Paul then started showing the cushions to nursing homes. “They loved them, but said ‘You have to make the cushions smaller to fit a wheelchair.’” In 2011, Paul ultimately convinced the mattress business owners to let him become their first seat-cushion distributor; he now works about 20 to 30 hours a week doing this.

The seat cushions are now sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and consumers buy them for their trucks and cars or for airplane rides.

Paul loves his retirement work, saying, “It’s fun.” He and his wife, also a retired IBMer, like to make time for traveling. But, Paul said, “I take my laptop and cell phone and can work from wherever I am.”

Nancy K. Schlossberg: Making the Retirement Transition – Twice

Nancy K. Schlossberg

Author Nancy K. Schlossberg knows something about life transitions and retirement. For decades, this was her area of professional expertise; she has written numerous books about it. But when Schlossberg first retired from teaching counseling psychology at the University of Maryland in College Park in 1998 at 69, she had a very hard time.

“I thought it would be a piece of cake. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t adjusting,” recalled Schlossberg, who’ll be turning 88 soon. The problem: “I was so used to being a professor.”

So instead of fully retiring, Schlossberg continued writing books. Her most recent one catalogued typical paths retirees take and was featured on Next Avenue. “There’s not one way to be retired,” she said.

If you’ve tried the fully retired route and it’s not working for you, Schlossberg said, don’t try “adjusting” to retirement. “Go back to work!” she urged.

Schlossberg is a proponent of mid-life and late-life internships. But, she added, you have to be proactive to snag one.

“Internships are not there waiting for you,” she explained. “You need to figure out a setting, organization or person with whom you want to work and learn. Then, approach the person with a plan. In other words, make it happen.”

If you want to switch to a new field in retirement, Schlossberg suggested, suggest a three- or six-month internship to an employer. Hopefully, she added, this will turn into a paying job. You might not earn what you’ve been used to, but you might wind up getting a lot of respect, as Robert de Niro’s character did in The Intern.)

Schlossberg has her own transition coming up. “In six months, for the first time, I’m going to be retired,” she said. With 10 books under her belt, she doesn’t plan to write another one because, Schlossberg noted, she has said all she wants to say.

So what will retirement look like for her this time?

“You’ll have to call me back in six months,” she replied. “I don’t know. I’m going to search and figure out something for me to do,” she said. “I’ll try to do a better job the second time. I know I need a purpose.”

Perhaps, she added, she might start a business to help retired people create internships for themselves. “I would love that,” she replied.

© Twin Cities Public Television – 2017. All rights reserved.

The post When retirement makes you unhappy appeared first on BoomerCafe.com.

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The All-Senior Rock ‘n’ Roll Musical Group (65 — 91 years young)

Seniors Sing Rock, Pop, Gospel and more.

A real life world history lesson with rock’n’roll music told and sung by seniors who lived through it‬.

Alive & Kickin is a non-profit organization that features a talented ensemble of rockin senior performers ages 65 — 91 that entertain multi-generational audiences through popular contemporary music and personal stories. Each performance, whether a large, full-scale production, a corporate event or (our favorite) senior community gig, promises to surprise, move and inspire audiences of all ages. The group is managed and directed by award-winning performing arts professionals.

A moving musical testament to overcoming adversity and living victoriously at any age. Featuring solid gold singers 65 years and older. Soulful, emotional, funny, and powerful.

Our mission is to give voice to seniors through personal story and popular song, empowering its members to entertain and enlighten multi-generational audiences. We hold auditions annually for the group and look for those who are a blend of talent, unique personalities and charisma. An open-mindedness is also a requirement as we explore contemporary genres of music ranging from rock & roll to pop to gospel and Motown as well as topics of all shapes and sizes!

‪http://aliveandkickinmn.org

Originally posted 2017-04-03 10:09:03.

Baby boomer seasonal addiction — apple cider donuts

BoomerCafe.com
Baby boomer seasonal addiction — apple cider donuts

For many baby boomers, we are at a stage of life where we can better appreciate the experiences of our years. Some call it “smelling the roses.” BoomerCafé publisher and co-founder David Henderson finds fun with friends enjoying the bounty of an apple orchard in New York.

The moment our plane touches down nearly every autumn and we reunite with old friends in upstate New York, conversation quietly shifts from exchanging views on current events in the world to a loftier, far more primal level of talk. We get down to the serious talk — Saratoga apple cider donuts. That’s why inevitably our car heads toward Schuylerville, New York, and the place where the best apple cider donuts on earth are made with loving care, and entirely by hand.

Saratoga Apples

The place is actually called Saratoga Apple, on New York’s highway 29 east of Saratoga Springs. Apple orchards have flourished in this area for decades and maybe that’s the secret. Saratoga Apples uses the cider from their own apples for the donuts. Heck, their store and warehouse are full of large wooden crates this time of year, topped to the brim with apples. You can’t go wrong with the donuts they produce.

Then, our discussion gets serious! How many donuts dusted with organic sugar shall we buy, and how many plain? A dozen each seems a good place to… well… begin. It’s a near-spiritual experience savoring apple cider donuts. The lady at the cash register suggests a bag of seconds, donuts that came out a bit misshapen yet just as delicious. Sure. It’s only $4.

Mind you, I have sampled apple cider donuts elsewhere and nothing can compare. Nothing. Most donuts are too cake-like, too puffy, too much the typical texture of a donut. Heck, I visited a place that uses cake mix together with apple juice of unknown origin and the donuts are … well, I took one bite and pitched it in a bin.

Okay, maybe it’s a stretch to call these apple cider donuts made in an old warehouse and store an “addiction,” but “serious craving” to experience the bliss of apple cider donuts pretty much describes it. That is, until I’m reminded that my waistline has had enough.

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How boomers are transforming the travel industry

BoomerCafe.com
How boomers are transforming the travel industry

Arrive at the airport of just about any exotic destination, and you are likely to be greeted by a sea of gray hair … baby boomers on the road. Boomers have a lot of clout in the travel industry worldwide … money. One of America’s leading speakers, authors, and experts about the boomer generation, Denver’s Brent Green, says baby boomers have an annual travel spending power of $120 billion.

With nearly 10,845 Baby Boomers reaching age 65 daily during 2018, a transformative portrait of retirement travel is emerging.

Relaxing on the dock of a lake in Bavaria.

Boomers view travel as fundamental to their next chapter, a time they anticipate being the most enjoyable and liberating of their lives. They are bringing new opportunities to an industry already responsible for over seven million domestic jobs and the nation’s number one service export.

Throughout their wandering lives, Boomers have contributed to the growth of many new forms of travel entertainment, from European excursions to backcountry trekking. As the generation prioritizes more time for travel and learning — so-called edutainment — tourism industries will continue to realize substantial growth and evolution.

Two up-and-coming trends being fueled by Boomers include heritage and cultural tourism.

The solitude of an ancient waterfall at Þingvellir National Park in Iceland.

Heritage tourism is tied to a geographic location and connected to neighboring history, customs, historical figures, traditions, and mythic stories. This form of travel presents underdeveloped opportunities for smaller communities and off-the-beaten path destinations. In concert with the period of life when history takes on added significance, Boomers will progressively seek out locales that showcase fascinating, transforming journeys into the past.

Locales that amplify Boomers’ own nostalgic coming-of-age experiences will become breakaway top-sellers. For example, London tourists can enjoy one of several all-day walking tours of The Beatles’ most famous landmarks, including Abby Road Studios and The Palladium Theater, birthplace of Beatlemania.

Equally compelling as a travel industry growth prospect, cultural tourism involves immersive experiences with less emphasis on a specific locale. For example, Boomers are rushing into regional art museums to see rock icon photographs by Linda McCartney (the late wife of Paul). Ronnie Wood, guitarist for The Rolling Stones, is luring hip crowds into hip galleries to view his striking sketches of the band that made him famous.

American Harley rider on Memorial Day. (Photo: Cecil Brathwaite. Used with permission)

For culture-thirsty Boomer travelers, a trip to Milwaukee must include a tour of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle factory. In Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become a Woodstock generation must-visit destination.

National Geographic has responded to these trends by developing its travel product called Expeditions, in line with changing Boomer tastes. Expeditions include out-of-the-ordinary journeys, education from preeminent tour guides, and access to off-the-beaten path experiences (such as a private tour of the Sistine Chapel after hours). Emphasis is on learning, cultural immersion and peak experiences.

Hotels and resorts will also continue to create new travel experiences that appeal to Boomers, offering gourmet cooking, wellness education, skill improvement in leisure sports, and room/event packages tied to neighboring festivals and special attractions.

The opportunities for suppliers of travel experiences have never been greater. Boomers have an annual travel spending power of $120 billion. (Skift) Two-thirds of Boomers say that high prices have no impact on their travel plans. (AARP)

Their primary travel goals include staying healthy (83 percent), intergenerational family connections (53 percent), “peak experiences” (48 percent), and adventure (45 percent). (Age Wave) More than 50 percent of Boomer travelers choose a destination based on its cultural value. (TripAdvisor) They seek educational enrichment with every tour decision.

Recent consumer research has disclosed other salient business facts about the future of Boomer travel:

  1. Ninety-nine percent of Boomers will take at least one leisure trip in 2018, with an average of five or more trips expected throughout the year (AARP);
  2. “Bucket List” trips are the most significant motivation for international travel (AARP;
  3. Fifty-two percent say they would like to visit specific cities or towns;
  4. Boomers have an average of eight places they hope to visit;
  5. A laid-back and relaxing vacation is the most desired type of trip (AARP);
  6. Boomers are slightly more likely to prefer domestic travel (53 percent) to international destinations (47 percent).

While these statistics help validate a compelling case for targeting Boomers with travel offers, one significant question remains: “How can travel marketers, tour operators, and destinations take advantage of this unprecedented marketing opportunity through strategic brand development and competitive differentiation?”

Brent Green, expert on the baby boomer generation.

That question needs at least ninety minutes to answer and a live presentation!

As a travel industry veteran with career experience marketing resorts, hotels, and destinations, my keynote speeches present compelling and actionable strategies to propel the travel industry to the next level of business success.

Other questions answered during his presentations include:

  1. What are the salient business facts about Boomer travel today that justify a substantial generational marketing focus by tour operators, destination managers, and travel planners?
  2. What are some of the most successful strategies and tactics employing generational marketing, and how can these insights be applied specifically to tour and travel offerings?
  3. What are the future Boomer trends and opportunities that will continue to transform travel for the next twenty years?

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When retirement makes you unhappy

BoomerCafe.com
When retirement makes you unhappy

It’s pretty common for baby boomers to look forward to retirement. But what’s also common, or at least not uncommon, is for some to get antsy once they’re retired. That’s why Deborah Quilter wrote a piece about it for our friends over at NextAvenue.org titled “When Retirement Makes You Unhappy.”

Some people find that after trying retirement, it just doesn’t agree with them. Here are three such stories of “un-retirees”— people who crave returning to work after retiring or went back to work part-time, and not only for the money.

Carolyn Bushong: ‘This is a Beautiful Prison’

Carolyn Bushong

On the surface, Carolyn Bushong has the perfect situation: The semi-retired 69-year-old psychotherapist closed her office in Colorado in 2012 and moved to Tucson when her boyfriend, a financial adviser, persuaded her to join him and retire in a warmer clime. “I have a fabulous life, a beautiful house, friends, a great garden,” Bushong recounted. “My girlfriends all are working full-time and taking care of their families. They would kill for my life.”

Yet she is deeply unhappy.

“This is our fifth year and I am bored to tears,” Bushong confessed. “This is a beautiful prison.”

Volunteering doesn’t appeal to her. Bushong misses getting dressed up, wearing high heels and networking with colleagues. Gardening isn’t giving her as much pleasure as she anticipated, either.

“The ones who count on their grandchildren for joy are the ones who are happy in retirement,” she said. “It doesn’t cut it for someone who’s always had a goal, motivation and a busy life. What gives me joy is talking to clients.”

Bushong’s partner is willing and able to foot all her bills, so why is it important for her to still get paid? “I’ve always supported myself,” she said. “I don’t want to ask my boyfriend for money.”

Retirement, Bushong said, makes her feel like she has no purpose in life. “It depresses me and makes me get less done,” she said. “I never wanted to retire. I expected to be someone who worked until you drop dead.”

Gazing into the future causes Bushong trepidation because, she said bluntly, she doesn’t want to turn into her mother. “My mom is 90. Her life is so awful and boring. She is on antidepressants. What if I live to 90?” she mused. “I don’t want to spend 20 more years with no purpose in life.”

Bushong has found it hard to start marketing herself again, however. For a while, she tried Twitter to gain clients, but the only people who followed her were other therapists.

“I do have some ideas. I’ve made a list of steps,” Bushong said. She plans to contact the Chamber of Commerce, among other things, to rev up her business.

Dave Paul: ‘I Had Lost Part of My Identity’

Dave Paul worked in management and sales for IBM in Denver until his division dissolved and he was offered a package to retire in 2002 at age 62. Retirement, Paul discovered immediately, didn’t suit him.

“I did not want to wake up in the mornings without something to do; my job is part of who I am,” he said. “I could play golf every day, but I know if I did that, I’d stop enjoying golf at some point.”

After retiring, Paul noted, “I had lost part of my identity.”

Paul now volunteers at the Denver Ronald McDonald House as a board member. But that hasn’t been enough for him. So he decided to try to go back to work full-time.

Finding a job wasn’t easy, though. Paul looked and looked and, he said, encountered age discrimination. A few jobs he did take either weren’t fulfilling or weren’t a good fit. “I sold cars for a year. I was on the Colorado parole board for a year; I visited inmates. It was interesting, but I was out of my element.”

Paul’s next move, however, was ideal and might provide a blueprint for others considering a new career in their 60s.

After doing some consulting for a mattress manufacturer that also made cushions, “I became so impressed with their technology that I came back and asked if I could represent the line.” Paul then started showing the cushions to nursing homes. “They loved them, but said ‘You have to make the cushions smaller to fit a wheelchair.’” In 2011, Paul ultimately convinced the mattress business owners to let him become their first seat-cushion distributor; he now works about 20 to 30 hours a week doing this.

The seat cushions are now sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and consumers buy them for their trucks and cars or for airplane rides.

Paul loves his retirement work, saying, “It’s fun.” He and his wife, also a retired IBMer, like to make time for traveling. But, Paul said, “I take my laptop and cell phone and can work from wherever I am.”

Nancy K. Schlossberg: Making the Retirement Transition – Twice

Nancy K. Schlossberg

Author Nancy K. Schlossberg knows something about life transitions and retirement. For decades, this was her area of professional expertise; she has written numerous books about it. But when Schlossberg first retired from teaching counseling psychology at the University of Maryland in College Park in 1998 at 69, she had a very hard time.

“I thought it would be a piece of cake. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t adjusting,” recalled Schlossberg, who’ll be turning 88 soon. The problem: “I was so used to being a professor.”

So instead of fully retiring, Schlossberg continued writing books. Her most recent one catalogued typical paths retirees take and was featured on Next Avenue. “There’s not one way to be retired,” she said.

If you’ve tried the fully retired route and it’s not working for you, Schlossberg said, don’t try “adjusting” to retirement. “Go back to work!” she urged.

Schlossberg is a proponent of mid-life and late-life internships. But, she added, you have to be proactive to snag one.

“Internships are not there waiting for you,” she explained. “You need to figure out a setting, organization or person with whom you want to work and learn. Then, approach the person with a plan. In other words, make it happen.”

If you want to switch to a new field in retirement, Schlossberg suggested, suggest a three- or six-month internship to an employer. Hopefully, she added, this will turn into a paying job. You might not earn what you’ve been used to, but you might wind up getting a lot of respect, as Robert de Niro’s character did in The Intern.)

Schlossberg has her own transition coming up. “In six months, for the first time, I’m going to be retired,” she said. With 10 books under her belt, she doesn’t plan to write another one because, Schlossberg noted, she has said all she wants to say.

So what will retirement look like for her this time?

“You’ll have to call me back in six months,” she replied. “I don’t know. I’m going to search and figure out something for me to do,” she said. “I’ll try to do a better job the second time. I know I need a purpose.”

Perhaps, she added, she might start a business to help retired people create internships for themselves. “I would love that,” she replied.

© Twin Cities Public Television – 2017. All rights reserved.

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Bro Culture And Why We Need to Read This NYT Piece

This weekend’s most emailed New York Times article was about Jerks And The Start-Ups They Run, and it talks about a topic that sends chills up my spine as a business woman, entrepreneur and a mother. It’s essentially an extension of the old boys network with an accelerated VC modern twist and it’s called bro culture. And it sucks for women.

“What is bro culture? Basically, a world that favors young men at the expense of everyone else…Bro cos. become corporate frat houses, where employees are chosen like pledges on ‘culture-fit.’ Women get hired but rarely get promoted…”

We’re talking Travis Kalanick’s of Uber bad behavior and others.

Women know this culture is not a new phenom, but in 2017, when we push our kids to follow their passions, take risks, and support their start-up ideas, it’s disheartening to know this frat boy culture still dominates.

This is a good article to talk about with your kids.

Click here to read more and email to your kids…

 

 

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Originally posted 2017-04-03 05:40:19.

Baby boomer seasonal addiction — apple cider donuts

BoomerCafe.com
Baby boomer seasonal addiction — apple cider donuts

For many baby boomers, we are at a stage of life where we can better appreciate the experiences of our years. Some call it “smelling the roses.” BoomerCafé publisher and co-founder David Henderson finds fun with friends enjoying the bounty of an apple orchard in New York.

The moment our plane touches down nearly every autumn and we reunite with old friends in upstate New York, conversation quietly shifts from exchanging views on current events in the world to a loftier, far more primal level of talk. We get down to the serious talk — Saratoga apple cider donuts. That’s why inevitably our car heads toward Schuylerville, New York, and the place where the best apple cider donuts on earth are made with loving care, and entirely by hand.

Saratoga Apples

The place is actually called Saratoga Apple, on New York’s highway 29 east of Saratoga Springs. Apple orchards have flourished in this area for decades and maybe that’s the secret. Saratoga Apples uses the cider from their own apples for the donuts. Heck, their store and warehouse are full of large wooden crates this time of year, topped to the brim with apples. You can’t go wrong with the donuts they produce.

Then, our discussion gets serious! How many donuts dusted with organic sugar shall we buy, and how many plain? A dozen each seems a good place to… well… begin. It’s a near-spiritual experience savoring apple cider donuts. The lady at the cash register suggests a bag of seconds, donuts that came out a bit misshapen yet just as delicious. Sure. It’s only $4.

Mind you, I have sampled apple cider donuts elsewhere and nothing can compare. Nothing. Most donuts are too cake-like, too puffy, too much the typical texture of a donut. Heck, I visited a place that uses cake mix together with apple juice of unknown origin and the donuts are … well, I took one bite and pitched it in a bin.

Okay, maybe it’s a stretch to call these apple cider donuts made in an old warehouse and store an “addiction,” but “serious craving” to experience the bliss of apple cider donuts pretty much describes it. That is, until I’m reminded that my waistline has had enough.

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The 10 Best and Worst Ways to Look for a Job

(In memory of Richard N. Bolles, who died Friday at age 90, Next Avenue is republishing this 2016 article adapted from What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017 Edition by Richard N. Bolles.) Some of the 10 traditional job hunting methods that follow have a pretty good track record and will repay you for time spent…

The post The 10 Best and Worst Ways to Look for a Job appeared first on Next Avenue.

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Originally posted 2017-04-02 10:57:14.

Do baby boomers really understand cybersecurity?

Although the word “cybersecurity” didn’t even exist when we boomers were growing up, here at BoomerCafé we have figured it out and try to be careful as possible about cybersecurity. Which puts us in a minority. And which is why we are doing you a favor by running this piece from the PewResearchCenter called “What the Public Knows About Cybersecurity.” In fact, the title really ought to be, “What the Public DOESN’T know about cybersecurity.”

As Pew points out in its introduction, our personal data in this increasingly digital world can be as valuable to potential wrongdoers — and also as vulnerable — as any other possession.

What Pew’s survey finds is, many of us are unclear about some key cybersecurity topics, terms and concepts.

http://pewrsr.ch/2n0h4dJ(function(){function async_load(){var s=document.createElement(‘script’);s.type=’text/javascript’;s.async=true;s.src=’http://pewrsr.ch/2nsCVWj’;s.onload=s.onreadystatechange=function(){var rs=this.readyState;try{iFrameResize([],’iframe#pew18401′)}catch(e){}};var embedder=document.getElementById(‘pew-iframe’);embedder.parentNode.insertBefore(s,embedder)}if(window.attachEvent)window.attachEvent(‘onload’,async_load);else window.addEventListener(‘load’,async_load,false)})();

Then go back and read more of Pew’s report. That’s when you’ll really know how much more careful we all need to be.

Public knowledge of cybersecurity is lower on some relatively technical issues

Internet users’ understanding of the remaining cybersecurity issues measured in the survey is lower – in some cases dramatically so. For instance, 39% of internet users are aware that internet service providers (ISPs) are able to see the sites their customers are visiting while utilizing the “private browsing” mode on their internet browsers. Private browsing mode only prevents the browser itself, and in some cases the user’s computer or smartphone, from saving this information – it is still visible to the ISP. And one-third (33%) are aware that the letter “s” in a URL beginning with “https://” indicates that the traffic on that site is encrypted.

Meanwhile, just 16% of online adults are aware that a group of computers that is networked together and used by hackers to steal data is referred to as a “botnet.” A similar share (13%) is aware that the risks of using insecure Wi-Fi networks can be minimized by using a virtual private network, or VPN.

Lastly, cybersecurity experts commonly recommend that internet users employ “two-factor” or “multi-factor” authentication on any account where it is available. Two-factor authentication generally requires users to log in to a site using something the user knows (such as a traditional password) along with something the user possesses (such as a mobile phone or security token), thus providing an additional layer of security in the event that someone’s password is hacked or stolen. But when presented with four images of different types of online login screens, just 10% of online adults are able to correctly identify the one – and only one – example in the list of a true multi-factor authentication process. In this case, the correct answer was a picture of a login screen featuring a temporary code sent to a user’s phone that will only help them login for a limited period of time. Several of the other answer options illustrated situations in which users were required to perform a secondary action before accessing a page – such as entering a captcha, or answering a security question. However, none of these other options are examples of two-factor authentication.

A significant share of online adults are simply not sure of the correct answer on a number of cybersecurity knowledge questions

Although the share of online adults who can correctly answer questions about cybersecurity issues varies from topic to topic, in most cases the share providing an actual incorrect answer is relatively small. Rather, many users indicate that they simply are not sure of the correct answer to a large number of the questions in this survey.

At the low end, around one-in-five online adults indicate they are not sure how to identify the most secure password from a list (17%), how to identify multi-factor identification (18%) or whether public Wi-Fi is safe for sensitive activities (20%). At the high end, a substantial majority of internet users are not sure what purpose a VPN serves (70%) or what a botnet does (73%). There are also a number of other questions in this survey where “not sure” responses are markedly more common than incorrect answers. These include the definition of ransomware, whether or not email and Wi-Fi traffic are encrypted by default, whether private browsing mode prevents ISPs from monitoring customer activity and how to identify whether or not a webpage is encrypted. In fact, there is only one question on the survey – how to identify a multi-factor authentication screen – for which a larger share of respondents answer incorrectly than indicate they are not able to answer the question at all.

Click here for complete findings by Pew Research. x

Originally posted 2017-04-02 00:44:17.