Security concerns when going online and especially when sharing content and information is one of the key concerns tourism marketers talk about when looking at consumers. Especially the older users are actually considered to be more cautious and aware of the fact that information shared online might limit their privacy. However, eMarketer now published statistics that proof these assumptions are completely wrong. It is not only young generations that overshare online, it is also the older users that do the same. This is quite interesting and also positive news, as it was assumed that it is much harder to get older users engaged and to share information online. Although older users often have a more mature consumer behaviour, this does not mean that online privacy is as important as maybe assumed (eMarketer 2013).
When looking at the consumer behaviour of older generations in more detail, it is clear that 97% of older consumers (aged 50 to 75) go online every day. Interestingly, the internet is then mainly used for purchases which differs from that of younger consumers, as mostly social networks and information is being accessed. Consumers aged 50 to 75 pay their bills, access bank accounts and 8 in 10 are using social networking sites actively every day. This is quite interesting, and especially with regards to making purchases, these older consumers might have more concerns about their online privacy and security.
In fact, more than 3 in 4 consumers over 45 are worried about their online security which can be considered a normal instinct when being active online. Especially fraud, identity theft and the fact of having a social networking account cause privacy concerns amongst older consumers that are active online on a daily basis. 70% of older consumers consider social networking sites such as Facebook or Google+ as a major threat to their privacy.
With regards to other information being shared, there are differences in consumers’ attitudes towards sharing information. For many older consumers, around 55%, sharing an email address is not considered a major privacy threat. In comparison to that only 33% of consumers would actually share their mobile phone number online and the home address is even less likely to be shared, with only 25% of consumers sharing this more personal information online.
Consumers aged between 50 and 75 see Facebook as the most popular social networking site, with 72% of male and 77% of female consumers using the social network. In comparison to that, the total number of consumers aged between 50-61 using social networks is quite high at 83% but consumers aged 62-75 still show high interest in using social networking sites. Although older consumers seem more suspicious about the level of security they have online, social networking sites still seem to be an exception for many.
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