Web users 'now more security conscious'
Monday, May 17 2010, 15:52 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,

Internet users in the UK are becoming more aware of security issues while on the web and less willing to disclose their personal information, Ofcom has revealed.

According to the media regulator's latest Media Literacy report, 80% of adults with a social networking profile now only let family and friends access it, compared to just 48% in 2007.

However, 25% of respondents still expressed a "lack of confidence" about installing filtering software and 23% were concerned about effectively using computer security systems.

A survey of the internet habits of 1,824 people aged 16 and over revealed that around half of users in Scotland have a social media profile, compared to 46% in Wales, 44% in England and 31% in Northern Ireland.

Adults in Scotland were also the least likely to worry about submitting their personal information online, with 50% happy to enter their home address and 44% their credit card details.

The research also revealed that just 31% of adults considered content on the internet as being reliable and accurate, compared to 52% for television and 50% for radio.

However, 58% of people said that they trusted news websites against 54% for television news content. Radio news was rated the most reliable among respondents at 66%.

Ofcom's research also indicated that parents in Northern Ireland were the strictest about television viewing, with 87% having rules for what their children can watch and 36% operating password security controls on their digital TV services.