Ofcom finds Brits lose concerns about the internet

Friday, March 30th 2012
Half of adults were concerned about the web in 2011, compared to seven-tenths in 2005.
Ofcom finds Brits lose concerns about the internet
The number of broadband customers with concerns about the internet has dropped significantly since 2005, according to new research from Ofcom.

Seven in ten adults expressed their fears about online safety and security risks when the study was conducted seven years ago, but this proportion fell to one-half by last year.

Confidence in the technology was found to be at an especially high level at 84 per cent, while the amount of time that people spend using the internet also rose.

The average user now spends more than 15 hours online every week, a rise of five hours on the figure recorded in 2005, indicating that the internet has become an increasingly important part of people's lives.

Some 79 per cent of respondents said they now access the web on mobile devices while they are out and about, up by 20 percentage points on 2005.

While the study indicated that Brits are placing a greater amount of trust in the internet, it also showed they are prepared to take more risks online than in previous years.

One-quarter of social media users in the UK said personal details - such as their home town and date of birth - can potentially be viewed by people they do not know and about one-sixth revealed their contact details are shared with everyone, or with friends of friends.

A third of people surveyed stated that they would be happy to enter their debit or credit card details on websites, representing an increase of three percentage points on 2005.

System messages and padlock signs are used by 56 per cent of adults as a guide on whether or not to type in their card details, up from 43 per cent seven years ago.

The news comes just a matter of weeks after Ofcom research found that 48 per cent of parents feel the internet makes a positive contribution to their children's lives.

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