Men are three times more likely to try and solve an IT problem themselves than women, according to new research which BT says highlights the 'digital gender divide'.

BT's research shows that home PC users are 'in the dark' when it comes to securing valuable data, the company claims, but men and woman take very different attitudes to protecting their digital photos, videos and music files.

According to the research, nearly 50 per cent of females considering their data 'priceless' compared with just over one third of men, with women taking responsibility for making sure music, video and photo files are safely stored on a home computer. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to store work-related spreadsheets and documents.

But the gender divide is most apparent when it comes to IT support, according to BT. The company said just 14 percent of women try and sort out technical problems, with men three times more likely to get their hands dirty.

"It's interesting to see the differences in approach to what people think is important and what they protect, but also what they do when it comes to solving computer problems and those most likely to seek expert help," said Emma Sanderson, director of consumer value-added services at BT.