How much time do Britons spend online?

Britons will spend the equivalent of 22 years, one month and four days of their life online.  A poll of 2,000 adults found the typical week will see 59 hours – the equivalent of more than two full days – spent using the internet.

This amounts to 128 days a year, or 22 years over an adult lifetime.

During one week, seven hours and 55 minutes is spent streaming TV shows and films, three hours and 10 minutes on video calls and four hours and 42 minutes listening to music online.

A further four hours and 57 minutes a week are dedicated to social media while one hour and 55 minutes is taken up with online life admin.

On top of this, an average of four hours and 36 minutes is spent online gaming.

For those whose job involves them being online, the equivalent of 47 days a year are spent using the internet for work purposes.

It also emerged that this reliance on being online means more than three quarters of adults use two or more devices each day to stay connected, including mobile phones, tablets and smart TVs.

However, the huge amount of time they spent online leaves many people worrying about being ‘at risk’ of online fraud or being hacked.

This may be because the majority have accepted cookies on websites, some use the same password for multiple accounts and other have saved bank details to a device.

The poll was commissioned by NordVPN, a Virtual Private Network service which provides secure online browsing.

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Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN, said:  “The pandemic has changed the way we use the internet, as our lifestyles have been forced to change our online behaviour too.”

“With streaming now more popular than ever and social media having become an inevitable part of our daily lives, internet users look for ways to pass the time at home while sacrificing their mental health, sleep, or healthy screen time.

“Compulsively scrolling through social media for negative news – or doomscrolling, a word named word of the year 2020 by the Oxford English Dictionary – boredom, connection, entertainment, online shopping — these are just a few reasons people got obsessed with the online world during the pandemic.

“Britons are using apps, social networks, and video platforms to fill the gap left after their social lives were taken away, and the internet has become the biggest time-consumer of the day.

“But despite all the great benefits the internet brings, people should remain vigilant against the cyber threats lurking around many of the online procedures.”

The study also found more than half of those polled admitted they couldn’t imagine going a whole day without being online.

Indeed, the average time people start browsing the internet each day is 8:52am – and they don’t log off until 21:25pm.

Almost half said they ‘rely’ on connection a daily basis for the likes of banking, shopping and their social life.

However, Britons are guilty of sharing personal information online, including their date of birth, full address and job title.

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Some say they have posted images of themselves and their family, some have revealed their full name and a few have even shared their child’s name.

Other ways people have put themselves at risk include not using VPN’s or antivirus software, agreeing to all ‘permissions’ and opening links within spam emails.

The survey, carried out via OnePoll, also found the average adult has 13 online accounts and 22 per cent admitted they never update their passwords.

These accounts include Facebook, personal emails and online clothing store log ins.

Worryingly, almost half of respondents know someone who has been hacked via the internet – 17 per cent of which were the victim themselves.

In order for their online presence and information to be deleted permanently some would give up video gaming, others would stop drinking alcohol and a few would become celibate.  

Daniel Markuson added: “The pandemic has tremendously accelerated the shift towards a more digital world, and cyber-attacks have increased with it.

“As the remote working culture and online connectivity continue to thrive, Brits must not forget to always hover the mouse over the sender’s email address to verify its authenticity and only open attachments from trusted senders.

“If you have any doubts about a received email, do not hesitate to discuss the case with someone else before responding.

“Cybercriminals see the pandemic as an opportunity to escalate their criminal activities by exploiting the vulnerability of people working from home.

“They are also capitalizing on people’s strong interest in the coronavirus and vaccines-related news”.

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