Survey: Men More Open to Opposite-Sex Strangers on Social Networks than Women Are
When it comes inviting strangers into their online social networks, men are more easily swayed by the opposite sex than women are, according to a new survey.
The telephone survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for ID Analytics Inc., found that 18 percent of American men on social networking sites were open to accepting all invites and requests from any women who communicated with them through those sites. That’s compared with 7 percent of women who indicated they were willing to do the same with men on social networking sites.
Not surprisingly, men ages 18 to 34 on social networking sites were more likely to accept invites and requests from women on social networks than any other men in any other age group, the survey showed.
The survey found that 5 percent of U.S. men and women on social networks would accept any friend requests or invites they received – no matter who sent them.
“Americans’ lack of caution in friending members of the opposite sex online is striking,” said Thomas Oscherwitz, chief privacy officer at ID Analytics, which specializes in ID protection software and services.
“Friending someone online is not risk-free. Just as in the bricks-and-mortar world, it makes sense to exercise a bit of prudence. Most social networking profiles contain personal information that can be used by fraudsters, and when you friend someone, you are giving them access to this information.”
In the survey, just half of Americans on social networking sites actually trusted their online connections to keep their data private. Despite this lack of trust, the survey found more than 24 million Americans on social networking sites kept their online profiles “mostly public,” meaning anyone could see their personal details.
“Fraudsters can use information in social networking profiles to build the dossiers they need to beat challenge questions and other security measures on financial accounts,” according to ID Analytics.
The key identity elements that consumers should be careful about divulging on social networks include address, phone number, birthplace, birthdate, Social Security number and car color, according to ID Analytics.
According to the survey, American adults who had joined an online social network were twice as likely to say it was important to have as many business contacts through social media as possible (39 percent) compared with personal contacts through social media (19 percent).