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.
Of course, the frustrations don’t stop there. The following are the agreed-upon top five pet peeves, according to the study:
- Checking phones constantly
- Talking loudly
- Using or not silencing phones when appropriate
- Using phones during face-to-face conversation
- Delaying traffic by using phones
Other mobile annoyances included accidentally pocket-dialing someone or 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 . “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? Men do a slightly better job using technical tools, according to the Microsoft Computing Safety Index (The Microsoft Computing Safety Index or MCSI is a tiered scoring system developed in a 2011 study sponsored by Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group. The survey contains more than 20 steps consumers can take to help protect themselves online).
- 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).
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.
The MCSI surveyed more than 10,000 PC, smartphone and tablet users, across the world.