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Nearly 80 per cent of Irish households have internet access

Seventy-seven per cent of 16 to 29-year-olds access the internet almost every day according to figures from the CSO.

Image: Press Association

A SURVEY HAS found that nearly 80 per cent of all households in Ireland have access to the internet.

Data from the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) survey of information and computer technology (ICT) in the household has found that from 2009 to 2011, 81 per cent of all households have access to a computer, an increase of 16 percentage points since 2007.

Seventy-eight per cent of all households have access to the internet, up from 57 per cent in 2007.

The CSO found that holiday accommodation and other travel arrangements were cited as being the most popular types of purchases made by individuals over the internet.

Seventy-seven per cent of 16 to 29-year-olds access the internet almost every day compared with just 21 per cent of those aged 60 to 74.

Did not need it

The statistics – taken as part of the Quarterly National Household Survey in the first three months of this year – specifically examined the use of computers in non-work related activities.

Of those households who did not have a computer, 11 per cent said it was because they felt they did not need one, other reasons that were cited included not being confident enough to use one, finding them too expensive, or having access elsewhere.

Of the households who did not have internet access 10 per cent said it was because they did not need one with cost, lack of skills, access elsewhere and privacy issues also cited as reasons for not being online.

Security

In sign of internet users in Ireland being less than confident on online security matters, 58 per cent of individuals said they felt they are able to protect their personal data while 55 per cent said the felt they can protect their computers from virus attacks.

When broken down into age categories the results diverged.

Almost 25 per cent of individuals in the age category of 60 to 74 felt capable of protecting their personal data. By contrast 77 per cent of those aged 16 to 29 felt they could protect their personal data.

There were similar patterns regarding people’s abilities to prevent virus attacks. Over 70 per cent of 16 to 29-year-olds said they felt capable of stopping virus attacks compared with just 23 per cent of  60 to 74-year-olds.

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Hugh O'Connell

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