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Battle of the spying sexes

Women stick to cyber snooping at home, while men get nosy at work

It may be 75 years since women were given the right to vote, but decades of feminism don't seem to have affected the work/life split when it comes to where men's and women's true interests lie. At least that seems to be the findings of a survey carried out by NOP on behalf of internet security firm Symantec.

The study revealed that, when it comes to cyber snooping, women couldn't keep their eyes of their partner's emails and texts in the home, while men were much nosier when it came to finding out confidential information about work.

When it comes to spying at home, 40 percent of women said they would check their other half's emails if they suspected he was cheating, whereas only 25 percent of men would bother with this method. The same split was evident with texts too, as 65 percent of women would check a message on their partner's phone if they didn't recognise the number, as opposed to just 25 percent of men.

But at work men's natural curiosity is much more likely to get the better of them — 27 percent would check colleagues' salaries on their boss' computer given half a chance, while a mere 13 percent of women claimed they would be interested. Equally, a quarter of the men surveyed would snoop on private company information, as opposed to just 10 percent of women.

"People are naturally curious and there are individuals out there who will read confidential emails or information if you let them," says Symantec's Kevin Chapman.

In the light of these findings, Symantec, has laid down the following guidelines to help keep data private:

  • Password protect private documents
  • PIN protect your mobile
  • Keep passwords secret and change them regularly
  • Don't choose obvious passwords
  • Use a password-protected screensaver

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