According to a new Bitdefender survey of 1,649 men and women in the U.K. and the U.S, men fall victim to data and identity theft more often than women do on Facebook.
According to the data, male Facebookers are more likely than women to accept friendship requests from strangers, announce their location, ignore privacy settings, leave their account open and searchable, and neglect reading privacy policies.
BitDefender is an internet security company that specializes in antivirus, anti-spyware, firewall, e-mail spam filtering, phishing, and parental control services.
Interestingly, Bitdefender noted that everyone surveyed was aware of online security options, and yet the responses to the survey, conducted over the summer found that 64.2 percent of women always reject friendship requests from strangers on social networks while only 55.4 percent of men did so.
24.5 percent of men were found to leave their social network accounts searchable by strangers, compared with 16 percent of women, and 25.6 percent of men share their location while 21.8 percent of women do so.
“Men expose themselves to risks more than women, especially when accepting friendship from unknown persons,” said Bitdefender’s Senior Social Media Security Researcher George Petre. “On a positive note, the survey also showed that only about a quarter of users are willing to share their location on social networks, which makes location disclosure an important privacy concern for all users.”
“However,” he continued, "most social network applications, especially the mobile ones, are designed to share this information by default, which opens the door to embarrassing if not truly dangerous situations.”
“Facebook, to my mind, has tarnished its brand through its insensitivity, as evidenced by its repeatedly expanding what information is public by default,” said Chunka Mui in Forbes. “The problem will surely get worse. The technology will get better, and the information that feeds it will grow.“