87 per cent of UK adults have now used the internet at some point, an analyst has estimated.
ONS stated that in during Q4 2013 44.3 million adults had ever used the web, 1.2 million more than during the same time in 2012. 13 per cent, or 6.7 million, were predicted to have never used the internet.
Age was cited as a key factor whether an individual has ever used the internet, added the report. Almost all people aged 16 to 24 years (99 per cent) had ever used the internet – a total of 7.1 million people.
Of the 6.7 million adults who had never used the internet in Q4 2013, almost half (45 per cent) were aged 75 years and over.
In response to the report, KPMG’s Stephen Bonner warned that inactivity online does not guarantee protection from cyber crime and internet-based fraud.
“Perhaps the small, but significant, proportion of the UK’s population yet to engage in cyberspace believes that by refusing to adopt an online persona, they don’t need to worry about cyber security,” he said.
“The truth is that despite not using the internet directly, their retailers, financial service providers, transport and government all now rely on connected services and information about them that could be hacked.”
“A figure just short of seven million is ripe pickings for cyber crime and these individuals need to be informed consumers and citizens, asking the right questions about how their information is being used by others – even if they are yet to join the digital revolution.”
“Increasingly they will be forced to interact in an environment they don’t fully understand or feel comfortable with, leading to greater risks around cyber fraud or identity theft."
"Historically, far more people under the age of 34 have used the internet than those aged 65 or above – but today the fastest growing users of social media are the over 65s. This group recognises the need to master cyber security, but with limited knowledge the onus must be on suppliers of online services to educate and ensure that the online world is safe for all their customers to engage in.”
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