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March 30, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 12:52pm

UK online fears are melting away

According to Ofcom research UK concerns about internet privacy and security continue to decrease as more adults spend time online.

By Tineka Smith

Photo Credit: Liam Dunn

Adult concerns about internet risks have been decreasing over the past few years, falling from 70% of users showing concern in 2005 to just 50% last year, according to research.

The average user is now spending over 15 hours a week online, up from just 5 hours in 2005.

The fall in anxiety over online security comes after news of the UK being named the largest internet based economy. Currently, the internet contributes 8.3% to the British economy, making it the largest internet sector out of all G20 major countries.

According to Ofcom’s Adults Media Use and Attitudes report, 79% of adults access the internet on any device anywhere. The percentage is a massive jump from reports in 2005 where only 20% of adults were reported doing so.

Social networking has become increasingly used by adults and 26% say they share their personal information on social media sites like their date of birth or hometown, to people they don’t know.

However, the amount of adult online users who are willing to enter their credit or debit card details on websites has not changed significantly over the past few years. 31% of users say they are okay with entering payment card details online, compared to 28% in 2005.

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Internet users were found to be influenced by security symbols like padlock signs or system messages when entering sensitive details online with 56% reporting they choose to enter details based on these security signs.

The research also finds that 24% never actually read the terms and conditions or privacy statements online even though they are aware of them.

Young people were found to be even less likely to read terms and conditions on a website. 35% of 16-24 year olds do not read them, but people over the age of 65 are most likely to read privacy statements online, with only 14% reporting that they do not.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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