Women Are More Security Oriented than Men, Study Finds
Article by George Norman
On 22 Jun 2009
As manly men, we like to think ourselves as technically and technology oriented, and for the most part we are. From an early age we tinker with tools, we are interested in anything that has buttons and lights on it, and as we grow up we start to show an interest in things like computers, software and so on. But it seems that in one are women have us men beaten: computer security.

We may be able to spot the installation options in Yahoo! Messenger 9 for example, but we are not security oriented enough to use different login credentials when signing up to online banking or online shopping facilities or set our security software to automatically update itself. At least that is what a study conducted by security firm PC Tools revealed.


“This research clearly sends out alarm bells to men in particular, who have seemingly become quite complacent about online security. If consumers use both common sense and behavior-based protection next to their existing anti-virus when surfing online; they will be in a much better position to safeguard their financial and personal information,” commented Vice President of PC Tools, Dr. Michael Greene.

According to the PC Tools study, 47% of the men who took part in said study used the same passwords over and over again. Out of all the women who responded to the study on the other hand, only 27% admitted to committing this security faux pas. The make things worse, the study also revealed that 60% of men compared to 48% of women open an email attachment without verifying that it originates from a legitimate source.

One of the things I firmly believe in is keeping your operating system and the software you have running on it up-to-date. This is crucial if you want to stay protected in an ever increasing threatscape. If a security vulnerability is discovered, a patch is released, but you do not update, then you are basically a prime target for people with malicious intent. The PC Tools study revealed that only 20% of men set their security software solution to automatically update itself, compared to 30% of women. I have to say that even though I consider not updating a serious security risk, I cannot frown upon the men that did not set their security software to automatically update itself. I can’t stand it when I fire up my PC and the first thing that happens is my security software stars to update itself – consequently I set the update feature to manual and launch it when I’m good and ready (like after everything is up and running and I go grab a cup of coffee).

Since it looks pretty bad for men, security-wise of course, here is something to put the fairer sex to shame: the study revealed that 85% of men are well aware of all the different types of security dangers you can encounter online. Social networking scams for example fall in this category and almost 50% of women did not know that social networks pose a security threat.

Tags: Security, Men, Women, Password, Software
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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