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Online Safety Message Failing to Get Through to Women

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The language of online safety advice could be more representative of women, researchers say.

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Researchers at the U.K.'s King's College London and the University of Westminster found advice about cybersecurity and privacy is not getting through to women, making them less likely to take protective steps for online security.

Lecturers Kovila Coopamootoo at KCL and Magdalene Ng at Westminster say that official digital safety advice and guidance from organizations like Action Fraud or the National Cyber Security Center usually excludes the needs of women. In a study, the researchers report that roughly 76% of women's preferred strategy was to look to family members or intimate social connections for digital guidance versus less than 24% of men; 38% of women also said they solicited advice from online sources relative to 70% of men.

Coopamootoo and Ng say policymakers should consider more aggressively ensuring the online advice ecosystem includes women's needs above and beyond guidance for specific threats like cyber abuse associated with controlling behavior or domestic violence.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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