Women Take Fewer Risks Online But Take The Upper Hand in Web-Smarts

Mar 8, 2014 (Sat): To mark International Women’s Day 2014 Kaspersky Lab uncovers the reasons why women behave more safely when using the internet. A report about sexual differences in online safety behavior shows that males tend to take a higher frequency of risks, while the female attitude towards security promises a longer life – women live on average six years longer than men do. Studies show that lifestyle has a greater bearing on different life expectations than genes or hormones do.

According to a European study, women use the Internet just as enthusiastically as men, but they do so in different ways. In a cooperation between Kaspersky Lab and the University of Wuerzburg (Germany) a report about sexual differences was developed; the main findings show that men tend to search for entertainment, games and sexual content while women look for communication and interaction with friends or romantic partners.

“Twice as many men as women reported different sorts of malware attacks during the period of the study. Girls are expected to be more responsible, obedient, and sexually restrained, thus, depending on one’s gender, certain roles are performed, leading to the stereotype gender differences.” said Professor Dr Frank Schwab, media psychologist at the University of Wuerzburg.

So, who has it right – does greater risk really bring greater reward?

When it comes to taking risks, women are happy to leave this to the men. Why would women put themselves in danger when there are men volunteering to take all the risks? The female way seems to be not only more secure in an online world but also more promising in terms of a long life. Also, the womens’ caring characters lead to more communicative and considerate behaviour both online and off. In terms of risk taking, they seem to take the more reasonable, considered path resulting in risk avoidance and a safer way of life.

“There’s an increased risk of infection from visiting certain types of web site – including pornographic and gambling sites. It’s not the content of these sites per se that makes them less safe, but the fact that they attract high numbers of visitors – and where there are visitors, there will be criminals. This provides cybercriminals with a large pool of potential victims human psychology also plays into their hands where some of these sites are concerned; victims are typically less willing to complain if they get infected whilst using one of these sites, than say a banking site, or fall victim to a scam, when accessing pornographic content.”, explains David Emm, Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

Safety however, remains an important topic for all, but particularly for men, who have a tendency to forget or overlook the risks. In general, anti-virus software should be installed on any device which is connected to the internet.

Author: Terry KS

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