While most Australians believe the internet has improved their daily lives, a significant number of users have also suffered from an online security breach, new ACMA research shows.
Australia's progress in the digital economy: Participation, trust and confidence examines changes in how Australians use the internet and their attitudes to going online.
The report shows that 71 per cent of the adult population believes the internet has benefited their day-to-day lives and reveals the extent to which we go online for everyday activities:
- At June 2012, 73 per cent of internet users went online more than once a day.
- During June 2012, we spent an average of 81 hours online.
- During June 2012, 7.8 million people undertook shopping-related activities online (up 27 per cent from June 2011) and 8.7 million went online for entertainment and amusement purposes (an 18 per cent increase). These two areas saw the highest proportional increases in online activity.
- During June 2012, going online via mobile phones increased by 52 per cent, with 32 per cent of Australians aged 14 years+ doing so, compared to 21 per cent during June 2011.
- In the six months to May 2012, 71 per cent of adult Australians used cloud applications.
- The increasing intensity of online participation was reflected in the growth in data downloaded. During the June quarter of 2012, we downloaded 421,147 terabytes of data-up 52 per cent from the June quarter of 2011. Fixed-line networks accounted for 92 per cent of data downloaded.
While the majority of Australians believe they know enough about online security to protect themselves, significant numbers of internet users have experienced an online security breach. In the 12 months to May 2012:
- an estimated 3.2 million internet users in Australia had their computers infected with a malware virus
- approximately 1.2 million users experienced some form of online credit card fraud. During the same period, 625,000 people also responded to an unsolicited or scam email and provided either personal information or money.
Despite the many benefits of the digital economy, these figures represent significant economic loss and disruption, highlighting the need to continually monitor and update how people can protect themselves online.
Australia's progress in the digital economy: ParticipatioCommunications report 2011–12 seriesn, trust and confidence is the second report in the ACMA's Communications report 2011–12 series, which examines the latest trends in Australia's digital environment. You can also view the report as an e-mag here.
The first report, Online video content services in Australia: Latest developments in the supply and use of professionally produced online video services, is now available, with the final two reports to be released soon.