23 Jun 2011

When talking internet security, not much gender divide

Men and women share many assumptions about computer security, according to a recent G Data Survey.

G Data asked respondents from 10 European countries and the U.S. whether they believed 11 statements related to internet security which G Data determined to be false, such as that most malware is spread through email. More women than men thought a false statement was true in only three of the 11 cases.

These three statements were: when a PC is infected, a user will know (91.5 percent of men believed it to be true, 93.6 percent of women), a user can't be infected by loading a malicious website (48.19 percent of men, 48.46 of women), and avoiding risky sites lowers the danger of triggering an automatic download of malware (11.74 percent of men, 13.51 percent of women).

However, the study notes the difference between men's and women's responses for all statements was only about 2 percentage points, so it's impossible to say whether women actually have safer web surfing habits than men.

G Data says this data should help debunk a widespread belief that men are more technically adept than women. At a panel discussion regarding women in the tech sector held last April, senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett said women make up only 25 percent of the U.S. technology workforce.