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    Age and gender as independent risk factors for malware victimisation

    HCI 2017 - Digital make-believe

    Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)

    University of Sunderland, St Peter’s campus, Sunderland, UK, 3 - 6 July 2017


    Fanny Lalonde Lévesque, José M. Fernandez & Dennis Batchelder



    This paper presents the results of an empirical study we designed to investigate the independent effect of age and gender as potential risk factors for malware victimisation. Using data collected from Microsoft’s Windows Defender on a sample of three million devices running Windows 10, we found that both age and gender are contributing factors for malware victimisation. Men, and young men in particular, were more likely to encounter malware than women, and younger users were more at risk of encountering malware than their older counterparts. However, our findings suggest that the effect of age and gender is not constant across different types of malware. We also discuss potential causes and implications of these age and gender differences in malware victimisation.


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