Study Finds Americans are Most Apt to Lose Their Smartphone, Consequences Heavier for Women

The typical smartphone contains a wealth of information, including contacts, photos, text messages, and more. They also serve as portals to cloud services, so you can imagine how stressful it would be to misplace one of these devices. Plus, they're expensive to replace. Be that as it may, security outfit Avast claims consumers living in the United States are the most likely to lose a smartphone.

That little tidbit is based on a survey of 167,904 customers worldwide. After figuring what which nation is the most careless with their digital devices, Avast then set out to see who is affected most by a lost or stolen smartphone. Here's where things get interesting.

According to Avast, men are more likely to use their smartphones for things like online banking, downloading apps, and even shopping (that's right, men shop with their smartphone more than women, Avast claims). Women more often use their smartphones to text and connect on social networks like Facebook.

Lost and Found

"Now, the logical conclusion would be that men are more at risk if they were to lose or get their cell phone stolen. You might think that online banking and credit card information stored in browsers and apps would be more appealing to smartphone thieves than personal information, status updates, and maybe even gossip. But that is simply not the case," Avast says.

The reason, according to Avast, is that men are typically more protective of their data and devices than women. In some cases, as many as 60 percent of men frequently back up their data, compared to 47 percent of women. And nearly half of the men surveyed said they're running antivirus software, versus 38 percent of women. As far as anti-theft mechanisms go, 21 percent more men than women have some kind of solution installed on their device.

This isn't a battle of the sexes, though. If nothing else, let this be a reminder to take proper precautions in case your smartphone is ever lost or stolen, regardless of whether you're a male or female.