Women less vigilant about internet security

Women less vigilant about internet security

Nearly 31% of women do not know how to take care of data security in a pandemic, and 22% is unable to recognize messages from fraudsters who pretend to be, for example, a bank - according to a survey of the National Debt Register. Women use technology more often than men.

According to the study "Personal data protection during a pandemic" of the National Debt Register and the ChronPESEL.pl website, Polish women are much less vigilant than Poles in terms of internet security. The percentage of women declaring that they do not know how to ensure data security during the second wave of the pandemic (31%) is twice as high as that of men (15%).

"This is a disturbing signal because due to their increased online activity, they are more exposed to the negative consequences of not using security measures," Bartłomiej Drozd from ChronPESEL.pl, an expert on personal data protection, emphasized in an interview with PAP. He pointed out that a greater online presence poses a greater threat in the field of cybersecurity and personal data protection.

He cited data from the Digital Ethics report, which shows that women use technology more often than men. They shop online more often (88% vs. 82%), bank online (82% vs. 76%) or use social media (85% women and 69% men).

The ban shows that nearly two-thirds of women (63%) declare that they are afraid of the activities of criminals who extort data during the next wave of the pandemic. Men are also concerned - almost every second inhabitant of our country noticed that during this time the "scale of sending false messages aimed at phishing data" has increased.

"According to our study, women are most afraid of phishing data as a result of fraud. This applies to up to a third of women. Leaks caused by hackers are in second place" - listed Drozd. He pointed out that, unlike men, women are not so afraid of data leaks from databases of private companies or public institutions. According to the expert, this may explain "why they are so reluctant to change passwords to websites and do not delete old accounts".

In turn, 48.5% of Polish women independently sought advice and information to increase data security during a pandemic (compared to 54% of men). The most common protection is to install up-to-date anti-virus software on the personal computer. 79% did so. women and 82 % men. "But still nearly every fifth person does not use even such basic protection. Other security procedures fared even worse" - noted the expert.

During the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the password to log in to websites changed to a new or more complicated 31% women and 37% men. As the expert emphasized, "this is one of the basic sins of Internet users".

"Regularly changing passwords, in addition to having active anti-virus software on your computer and phone, should be a basic security procedure" - warned Drozd. He emphasized that this is the key to our data, and these are, in turn, the gateway to our money. "They can be used by fraudsters to incur financial obligations in our name. If we do not care about their security, we make it easier for criminals to work" - he reminded.

According to the authors of the study, it is a reckless step to navigate the web without anti-spam blocks on your devices. Women less often than men (23% compared to 32% respectively) activated such security on their private laptop or smartphone.

During the second wave of the pandemic, Polish women also less frequently paid attention to suspicious e-mails, text messages or telephone contact prompting them to take any actions related to the coronavirus. Such an event was recorded by 13% women against 22.5% men.

The last nationwide study "Personal data protection during a pandemic" was carried out in November 2020 by IMAS International on behalf of the National Debt Register and the ChronPESEL.pl website on a sample of 515 people. (PAP)

Read also