Men more likely than women to use protection -- on their smartphones

Men are slightly more likely to do bank and shop on their mobile devices. But the anti-virus software maker Avast concluded that men are less likely be harmed because more of them defend their phones from theft or loss.

Men in the U.S. are just as likely as women to have their smartphones lost or stolen. But a survey released this week found that a greater percentage of men back-up their devices, install mobile anti-virus protection and enable theft-deterrence features.

The survey by anti-virus maker Avast concluded that women “do not protect their personal data and information as well as men do.”

Even among people who have previously lost or had a phone stolen, 41% of men use anti-theft features compared with 20% of women. Among people concerned about losing whatever’s on their smartphone, 60% of men back-up the information while only 47% of women do. And nearly 50% of men who said they did mobile banking and shopping installed anti-virus protection, compared with 38% of women.

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“These results show that despite the fact that men [are more likely to] perform sensitive transactions on their smartphones, they are less at risk of having their data used in a malicious way if their device were to get stolen or lost, because they have anti-theft solutions installed more often,” Avast said in a blog post.

A number of anti-virus makers have smartphone apps that help users track and locate lost smartphones. Some even snap pictures of the purported thief or make loud, annoying noises. Android and Apple have similar “find my phone” apps.

About one in four smartphone users worldwide have experienced a lost or stolen smartphone, according to the Avast survey of 167,000 people.

Fitting in with other recent surveys, Avast also found that people for the first time now spend more time browsing the Internet on phones than texting. That’s been matched by the rapid rise in time spent using instant messaging apps. However, making phone calls is still the most time-consuming smartphone activity, at 81% of time spent on the device.


Usage of social network apps held steady at about 40% while time spent on gaming apps jumped to 31%, from 18% last year.


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