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Hey banks, millennials have trust issues. Yup, these sophisticated, well-travelled, highly educated people have conflicted relationships with personal information.

A new OnePoll survey commissioned by Echoworx revealed that millennials are more careful with romantic partners than they are with financial institutions. Almost 50 percent of respondents age 18 to 35 would not give a partner their home address until after at least five dates. Yet, 56 percent had shared sensitive information by email with their bankers and brokers, not realizing that email can be easily hacked and sifted to steal identities and key information. And not to put too fine a point on it, but less than 60 percent of the surveyed millennials could accurately define “encryption.”

All of your customers expect you to treat them well, so your ability to make them trust you lies in how well you do it. And a big part of that is having strong cybersecurity so they don’t have to worry about having their data lost or stolen.

Information culture shift

Millennials’ contradictions around personal information make sense when you think about how human interactions have changed. Today, dating isn’t only about meeting someone through hobbies, work or friends – you can do it through apps, too. But with apps, the community relationships aren’t there, so millennials are naturally careful about revealing their home addresses. On the other hand, they’re so used to the continued refinement of tech, especially in business, that they trust it to work for them.

People born in the 1980s and ‘90s grew up as handheld devices morphed into the multimedia portals that they are now. They take digital convenience for granted in the same way they take their own hands and feet for granted, and because of that, they don’t have their parents’ suspicion of devices and software. But they also don’t have the media-savviness of the generation following them, who started learning about privacy and internet safety as early as grade school.

The good, the bad and the non-committal

Millennials expect financial institutions to integrate their processes seamlessly into mobile, and that’s created a classic battle between good and evil.

On the evil side, there are people doing whatever they can to steal information. On the good side are businesses who use the highest security protocols in all their communications. But between good and evil, you’ll find others who are simply hoping they won’t get burned when things go wrong.

Millennials are now your primary workforce and client base, and the bad side will exploit every opportunity you leave open. All workplace communications are targets, so strong encryption is critical for front-lines, back-end and all internal media tools.

Business relationships, like romantic relationships, thrive on trust, and it’s much harder to rebuild than it is to behave responsibly from the get-go. Be the good side –secure communications, encrypt everything at the highest level, and don’t ever ask for info through unsecured email or apps.

And visit our Getting Personal portal to learn more about the risks and opportunities of sharing sensitive information