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Mobile internet use – and data safety fears – on the rise

The Office for National Statistics this week released a report indicating that 45% of internet users have used a mobile phone to access the internet, but that 21% don’t have complete confidence in their ability to protect their personal data.

The Internet Access – Households and Individuals report reveals that 6 million more people used their mobile phone to access the internet in 2011 than in 2010, with the use of wireless hotspots increasing to 4.9 million people using them in 2011 from 0.7 million in 2007. Increase in mobile use through phones is reported as notable across all age groups, but 16-24 year olds demonstrate the fastest growth, with mobile internet usage increasing from 44% to 71% within the year.

As for what people get up to online – 60% of female and 54% of male internet users participate in social networking, though men are more likely to use professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. 66% of all adults purchased goods or services over the internet – an impressive increase of 62% from 2010.

However, as internet activity increases so too do fears over data safety – around one in five internet users feel their skills aren’t sufficient to protect their personal data or prevent a virus.

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