In the Battle of the Sexes, Women are Better at Cybersecurity Than Men

In the Battle of the Sexes, Women are Better at Cybersecurity Than Men

Cybersecurity
(Image: iStock/nadia_bormotova)

Women are arguably better than men at a lot of things, and the latest research suggests that cybersecurity can be added to that list. Women are better at protecting themselves online, tending to be more concerned about their accounts getting hacked and also using unique passwords more often.

The report, from password manager NordPass, is based on an anonymous survey of 1,400 people in the U.S. and the U.K. conducted in March to determine consumers’ password habits and to understand how much of a burden most people perceive managing their passwords to be.

The findings on password security:

  • 57% of women always use a unique password for banks and other financial institutions, compared with only 50% of men; 50% of women use a unique password for personal email, compared with 42% of men; 43% of women use one for online store accounts, compared with just 36% of men; and finally 38% of women set unique passwords for communication apps, while just 31% of men do the same.

“Using unique passwords for your accounts is one of the best things you can do for your online safety,” Chad Hammond, a security expert at NordPass said in a statement. “People who reuse passwords for different accounts are at a higher risk of getting hacked.”

With our growing numbers of online accounts and accompanying passwords, most of us find cybersecurity challenging. Eight of out 10 respondents said they found managing passwords somewhat difficult, with 30% in the U.S. saying it was extremely difficult to remember unique passwords for multiple accounts.

“Although stressful, effective password management is crucial. The total cost of reported cybercrimes exceeded $3.5 billion in 2019, and it is unlikely to fall. Therefore, coming up with strong and unique passwords is the least people can do to protect themselves online,” Hammond continued.

Good “cyber hygiene,” as NordPass calls it, leads to tangible results, with fewer women from its survey falling victim to cybercrime. A little more than one-fifth of surveyed respondents have been victims; in the U.S., 54% of the victims were men, whereas only 46% were women.

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