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Internet security fears - what brands reassure us online?

Sixty-one per cent of the UK population now have access to the internet at home but the same percentage of people also have fears about security and safety on the web.

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This is according to a survey by Consumer Panel, a consumer-campaigning body established to advise Ofcom. Here you can see a short video revealing users' opinions on web security and what makes them trust certain brands, like Ebay and Amazon, on the internet.

Consumer Panel found that over a third of the UK population now owns a mobile, internet and digital TV, writes Nikki Sandison. The Consumers and the Communications Market 2007 survey also revealed that 61% of the population are worried about security and safety on the web and this issue has been raised with Ofcom. Consumer Panel is concerned that public nervousness about the complexity of communications services, costs and service quality will increase further in the future.

Despite these concerns, Brits are the most active internet users in Europe, according to ComScore's World Metrix review. It found that the UK has the highest average number of daily visitors, the highest usage days per month (21 per user) and that UK users spend the highest average time per month online (34.4 hours per user). Google is the most popular property in 13 of the 16 countries, followed by Microsoft in second place. Yahoo! remains the third most popular property across Europe, despite making the Top 3 list in only three countries - Ireland, Italy and Spain. The study also revealed that on an average day in April 2007, there were 122m Europeans aged 15 or older online, versus 114m in the US. The average European accessed the internet from either a home or work computer, an average of 16.5 days in the month and spent a total of 24 hours viewing 2,662 web pages.

Good news for the UK is that it has dropped out of the top 10 worst nations for sending spam emails, according to a report by internet security company Sophos. Unsolicited emails from UK-based addresses declined in the first quarter of the year, with the country falling from 10 to 13 in the list. According to the report, more sophisticated anti-virus software and firewalls were one of the reasons for the UK's improvement in combating unwanted emails. Despite this improvement a spokeswoman from Sophos said that growing levels from abroad were contributing to a rise that will continue to affect UK email marketing. Sophos added that working closely with ISPs to reduce spam and educating home users about internet security was crucial to ensuring growing levels of infected emails are stopped.

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