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New Research Reveals Men More Likely to Fall Prey to Online Scams, Spam and Viruses

*Are women more sensible surfers? Asks StreamShield*
LONDON, August 26, 2005 – Female PC and internet users are less likely to succumb to threats such as viruses and receive junk in their inboxes than male users – that’s according to research carried out by MORI on behalf of StreamShield Networks.
In every category surveyed, women experienced fewer difficulties when online. For example, 46% of men reported that their PC had been infected with a virus compared with 38% of women, and 50% of men experienced excessive spam versus 38% of women. Men also experienced more unwanted pop up ads, with 74% reporting this compared with 69% of women.
In addition, whilst 29% of male PC and Internet users reported having received a fraudulent email from a source pretending to be a financial institution asking for their banking details, this was true of only 16% of female users. Similarly, whilst 8% of men had experienced online fraud, only 4% of women had been victims.
Despite these figures there is some positive news for men as they appear to have better overall awareness of Internet threats. For instance, nearly all (97%) male PC and Internet users know what a computer virus is versus 92% of female users. The same is also true of other terms including Spyware (66% of men are aware of the term compared with 47% of women), Adware (51% men, 29% women), Phishing (37% men, 18% women) and Key loggers (27% men, 10% women).
Geoff Bennett, Director of Product Marketing at StreamShield comments: “The research findings show there is a clear difference between the male and female experience when online. One possible reason for this is that the two sexes may be using the Internet differently. Either way, men do appear to be more vulnerable than women when online and are laying themselves open to falling victim to fraud scams and other annoyances. Either way, there’s an education job that needs to be done across both genders as awareness of these threats overall is far too low and at the moment this is one battle of the sexes which men are evidently losing!

Bennett concludes: "Most people are familiar with or use the Internet on a daily basis, yet many people still don’t understand basic security issues they are facing. Simple steps such as keeping virus checkers and operating system patches up-to-date, treating emails claiming to come from banks with suspicion and not downloading attachments can prevent some of the more basic attacks. However, in the long term, Internet threats are going to become more and more complex and it is vital that if the public are to be reassured, then Internet service providers need to play their part in blocking and cleaning all Internet traffic, removing any malicious content before it can reach users PCs.”
– Ends –
Technical note:
MORI interviewed a sample of 1,005 adults across Britain, aged 16+ from 5th – 7th August 2005. Interviews were conducted by telephone using Random Digit Dialling. No incentives were offered to respondents. Data has been weighted to match the known population profile.

About StreamShield Networks:
StreamShield Networks is the first company in the world to provide integrated, internet-based protection for email, web and other real-time internet applications. Its products and services can identify and block threats – such as viruses, worms, other forms of malware, phishing scams, spam, and inappropriate content – in the Internet before the content reaches any users and harms their computer systems.
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Press contacts:
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