Female PC users are less likely than males to succumb to computer viruses and receive junk mail in their inboxes.
A Mori poll of over 1,000 adults conducted on behalf of internet security company StreamShield Networks found that men were much more severely affected by spam and viruses.
The poll found that 46% of men reported that their PC had been infected with a virus, compared with 38% of women, and that 50% of men experienced excessive spam against 38% of women.
Men also experienced more unwanted pop-up ads, with 74% reporting this problem, compared with 69% of women.
In addition, while 29% of male PC users reported having received a fraudulent e-mail from a source pretending to be a financial institution, asking for their banking details, this was true of only 16% of female users.
Similarly, while 8% of men had experienced online fraud, only 4% of women had been victims.
Despite these figures, the survey found that men had the greater overall awareness of internet threats, such as viruses, spyware and phishing.
Geoff Bennett, StreamShield director of product marketing, said, “The research shows 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.”