Men likelier to fall for Facebook scams

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Men are mugs when it comes to Facebook, it seems, engaging in far riskier behaviour and making themselves much more vulnerable to data theft.

The reason, which may or may not surprise you, is apparently that they're much more likely to accept friend requests from attractive-seeming strangers.

After a survey of 1,649 men and women in the US and the UK, BitDefender found that while 64.2 percent of women always reject friendship requests from strangers on social networks, only 55.4 percent of men did so.

Just under a quarter of men leave their social network accounts searchable by strangers, compared with 16 percent of women and, while only 21.8 percent of women share their location, 25.6 percent of men are happy to give it away.

"Men expose themselves to risks more than women, especially when accepting friendship from unknown persons. 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," says Bitdefender's senior social media security researcher George Petre.

"However, 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."

American men tend to take more risks than the Brits, the survey showed, and men tend to accept fewer friend requests as they get older. This may be because they're more cautious - or because they've already got a hot Russian girlfriend, who knows?