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Microsoft Safer Online poll tempers the battle of the sexes

May 29, 2013 (08:05 PM EDT)
URL: http://www.techweb.com/show-press-release/SF22895/microsoft-safer-online-poll-tempers-the-battle-of-the-sexes.html

REDMOND, Wash., May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman: The way people use (or misuse) their mobile phones can really grate on your nerves. A Microsoft Safer Online Facebook poll revealed that many smartphone users don't mind their mobile manners — but men and women both find people who constantly check their mobile phones to be the most annoying.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

Of course, the frustrations don't stop there. The following are the agreed-upon top five pet peeves:

  1. Checking phones constantly
  2. Talking loudly
  3. Using or not silencing phones when appropriate
  4. Using phones during face-to-face conversation
  5. Delaying traffic by using phones

Other mobile annoyances included accidentally pocket-dialing someone and simply losing their phones, opening the door to potential digital damage. Thirty-nine percent of respondents also agreed that they believe men and women equally practice mobile phone safety, but this may not be the reality.

"Although we're all bothered by certain mobile phone behaviors, the more important point is knowing how to help protect one's device and information from scammers, rogue software and the oversharing of digital details," said Jacqueline Beauchere, chief online safety officer, Microsoft Corp. "We know from earlier research that men and women practice mobile safety very differently."

So who does a better job protecting their personal information on mobile phones? According to the Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), men do a slightly better job using technical tools:

  • Thirty-five percent use a PIN or password to lock their mobile device compared with 33 percent of women.
  • Thirty-five percent use secured wireless networks versus 32 percent of women.
  • Thirty-two percent keep their mobile devices up to date contrasted with 24 percent of women.

Yet, men seem to experience more mobile pitfalls, receiving more emails from strangers asking for personal information (70 percent versus 65 percent), more rogue antivirus popups (66 percent versus 58 percent), and more online impersonation experiences (31 percent versus 26 percent).

Women tend to be more protective of their online reputations, taking additional steps to limit personal information online (40 percent versus 37 percent) and what strangers can see on social networking sites (40 percent versus 32 percent), as well as being more selective about what they text (34 percent versus 31 percent).

As always, protecting yourself online is paramount in today's online world. Microsoft offers the following tips to help you stay safe when using your mobile devices — in turn, ensuring you don't annoy your friends:

  • Silence your mobile phone. Know when to put the phone away, and be present.
  • Help protect your privacy online. Don't overshare. Think before posting your whereabouts, and save vacation highlights and photos for your return. 
  • Use location-based services safely. Think carefully about turning on geotagging. Share your location only with people you trust. Pay attention to where and when you check in, and get permission before you check in your friends. 
  • Conduct financial transactions on a secure network. Don't use "borrowed" or public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Lock your mobile phone. Keep your info secret with a unique, four-digit PIN.

Take the Microsoft Safer Online Facebook poll, and find more information about the poll results and mobile phone safety at http:/www.microsoft.com/security.

About the 2012 MCSI

The MCSI surveyed more than 10,000 PC, smartphone and tablet users in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. about their personal approach to online safety. More information on the MCSI can be found here.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.