Women less aware of cyber threats than men - survey

Kaspersky Lab does real-time monitoring of malware from its headquarters in Moscow. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Kaspersky Lab does real-time monitoring of malware from its headquarters in Moscow. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Women are less concerned about cyber threats than men, according to a survey.

A survey by security company Kaspersky Lab in conjunction with B2B International has found that 19% of women think that they may become victims of cyber crime compared to one in four men.

The survey also found that 38% of women were unaware of ransomware versus 27% of men.

The pattern repeats for threats such as mobile malware (34% vs 23%) and exploits (34% vs 21%).

"In real life people understand that it’s important to take sensible precautions to protect the things that they value as they go about their day-to-day activities. The same is true online," said Riaan Badenhorst, managing director for Kaspersky Lab, Africa.


Cyber criminals are increasingly exploiting social engineering tools in order to extract personal information and cash from their victims.

Kaspersky said that 36% of women and 28% of men take no precautions when handing over their mobile device to friends or family because they perceive "no threat".

The survey also found that 73% of women faced malware threats compared with 65% of men, leading more women to face financial losses as a result (22% vs 19%).

"Typically, men more often spend money on buying special programs designed to clean the system or to protect it in the future whereas women prefer to turn to IT professionals for help," Kaspersky said.

Concern over fraud

However, the survey indicated that with online commerce, women took greater care with their financial data. A recent cyber attack on e-commerce targeted 47% of men versus 39% of women, the survey found.

Other statistics also indicated how women were more concerned with fraud than men, according to Kaspersky.

"Thus, 59% of men and 64% of women are worried about the risk of online fraud affecting their bank accounts while 46% of men and 51% women feel vulnerable when making online payments."

Subsequently, the company said that security measures such as strong passwords, checking websites and security minded attitudes may go a long way to reducing incidents of cyber crime.

"Following sensible web safety guidelines allows us to greatly reduce the risk of losing valuable data or falling victim to financial fraud," said Badenhorst.

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