UK adults less concerned over internet despite privacy risks

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Levels of concern about the internet have fallen substantially in the UK over the past six years, however some users are still willing to take risks over their internet security and privacy settings, new research by Ofcom reveals.

UK adults’ concerns about the internet have dropped steadily since 2005, falling from seven in ten (70 per cent) users to half (50 per cent) by 2011, with confidence online at high levels (84 per cent), according to Ofcom’s Adults Media Use and Attitudes report.

The fall in concern comes as people are spending increasing amounts of time on the internet. The average user now says they are online for over 15 hours each week, an increase of five hours since 2005. The internet is increasingly part of people’s everyday lives wherever they are, and eight in ten adults (79%) now go online on any device in any location – up by 20 percentage points compared to 2005.

Social networking is continuing to grow in popularity and three fifths of adult internet users (59 per cent) say they now have a profile on a social networking site. However, the increase has slowed, with a rise of five percentage points since 2010, compared to increases of ten percentage points in 2010 and 22 percentage points in 2009.

For those with a profile, social networking is increasingly becoming a part of their daily lives, with two-thirds (67 per cent) saying they visited the sites every day – up from one-third (30 per cent) in 2007. Accessing social media on a weekly basis via a mobile phone has almost doubled in the last year – from 15 per cent in 2010 to 29 per cent in 2011. Amongst smartphone users this increase is even greater, up from 39 per cent in 2010 to 55 per cent in 2011. Here to read more.

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