Generational gaps and how to deal with cyber threats |Team findings

Andrea Piacquadio

Generational gaps and how to deal with cyber threats |Team findings

Jia Hui and Wei Qi both grew up in Singapore and are currently studying
Communication and Economics at Fudan University. They had the
chance to get to know each other before their Demola project through the Fudan University Singaporean Students’ Association. They were lucky to get selected to the same One for Humanity project called 'Generational Gaps of the Future'. 

When studying in Singapore, Jia Hui and Wei Qi had both already participated in one very similar project-based challenge where students would spend an entire academic year to discover a social problem and come up with concrete solutions. Jia Hui and Wei Qu said they applied to Demola project for multiple reasons. They believe that creativity, analytical and problem-solving skills have not been adequately trained in traditional schooling and that Demola provides them with just such a platform for innovation. Inwardly, the project is also a journey to learn about themselves, explore themselves, gain new inspiration, and meet international friends from different backgroundsIn the project, their creativity comes from actively observing daily life and reflecting on it.

The generation gap phenomenon is ubiquitous in real life and might be ignored in various contexts, such as school, family, and work. Take Jia Hui as an example, she had a small chat with her mother which brought her an unexpected inspiration. Young people have the impression that the generation gap often exists in young people's thoughts, but in fact elders themselves may feel that there is a gap between them and young people. The inspiration for the perspective of the project also came from discussion with family members. Wei Qu's mother had the experience of using a credit card to pay, but the fraudulent link always popped up, which made using the credit card feel unsafe.

In addition to everyday observations and interviews, the team also did literature review and large searches to analyze their hypothesis with relevant and data. Finally, they decided to focus on the topic of online fraud and find out which generation is the most vulnerable to technology scams. Here's a composition of the team's key findings:

"According to a survey conducted by the team, one-third of the respondents have ever experienced online crime, the most typical of which is phishing. This means the practice of tricking Internet users (as through the use of deceptive email messages or websites) into revealing personal or confidential information which can then be used illicitly. While most people will check the source for validity against other reliable sources, there is still room for improvement concerning people’s information credibility awareness.  

Following the discovery of a significant gap: certain cybercrimes were disproportionately targeting older adults. Unlike their younger counterparts, seniors are less aware of online frauds, in many circumstances, lack the tools and knowledge to recognize attacks and fraudulent attempts. As a result, the creation of this application will assist the older generation in quickly identifying suspicious websites. On the other hand, younger people are less likely to report cybercrime and more likely to become victims, according to a survey by Atlas VPN. The younger generations are more tech-savvy; hence, they are used to managing their daily lives online from a young age. While elderly people are thought to have less experience with technology and thus more exposed to online crime, the younger generation is equally as vulnerable. Since they use the internet on a regular basis, they have grown accustomed to revealing their personal information online, making them less skeptical of digital fraudulent activities."

The team ended up designing a fraud prevention app called Fraudfluentin which the main function is to identify fraudulent information. The software will rate the quality of website information based on user reviews, artificial intelligence, and proprietary software, helping not only the elderly to identify fraudulent information, but also working to develop an awareness of fraud prevention among young people. When designing the details, the team considered the needs of different groups and intentionally chose bright colors, which will attract young people while helping the elderly with declining eyesight to navigate the software more clearly.

The team validates their app development in their report: "Although some similar applications for scanning websites already exist on the market, the application the team designed is added a user rating feature. Users can rate and comment on the security and trustworthiness of a website and make suggestions for other users to create a healthier online environment. Web developers can also benefit from user reviews. Knowing the experience of website visitors, website developers can improve the website according to its shortcomings. To ensure the authenticity of the comments, only logged-in users can use the comments feature."

The user-friendliness of the mock-up app received thanks for its test users: “I loved how this application is so user-friendly. I really think this is a practical initiative that can reduce online crime rates. At times when we see something suspicious, we usually just let it pass or ignore it because we don’t know whether it is important enough to be reported to the police. The simple interface of this app encourages ordinary citizens to check and upload suspicious links", commented one test user according to the team's report.

Team members of the project 'Generational Gaps of the Future': Yiyi Zhang, Victor Hajjar, Zheda Zhang, Tai Jia Hui, Wei Qi Lim, Beining Wang.

This article was originally written by Sarah from our Demola China team. This version was edited by Ida/ Demola Global.

Interview: Sarah, Shaida (Demola China interns)

Pictures: Lim Wei Qi, Tai Jia Hui

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