Thursday, 23 October 2008

How the 50+'s rely on the Internet

New research from Alliance & Leicester Current Accounts has revealed the extent to which the over 50s rely on the internet to help organise different areas of their lives, from their finances through to their love life.

These days, nearly three fifths (58%) of over 50s use the ‘net' to manage their finances, a further two in five (41%) book their holidays online, and almost one in five (18%) regularly log on to social networking websites such as Facebook and Friends Reunited.

With so much use of the internet, it is not surprising that online security is important to the over 50s. While six in ten (59%) of the over 50s say they are happy to buy products online, more than a half (51%) say they need to be sure a site is safe and secure before buying anything, and more than a quarter (27%) will only shop online at UK websites.

It seems that location matters too when it comes to using the internet. While two thirds (64%) feel confident using online banking in the safety of their own home, only 5% feel safe checking their bank balance at work, and only 2% would risk logging-on to their online banking at a shared or public computer, such as a library or internet cafe.

The over 70s have the least confidence to carry out their banking online, with almost one in three (31%) saying they have ‘no confidence at all' banking online, compared with only one fifth (21%) of those aged 50-59. Those over 70 are also more wary of giving their bank details online and more than a third (35%) will only pay for items online with a credit card, compared with just (27%) of those aged 50-59.

Over 50s use of the internet: men v women

There seems to be a divide between the sexes when it comes to having confidence in online banking. Seven out of ten (70%) of men over 50 feel confident banking online at home, compared to only 59% women. Almost one third (30%) of women believe online banking is unsafe and only 29% of women over 50 are happy to input their debit card details when buying online.

However, men over 50 are more conscientious about internet security than women, with almost two thirds (63%) of men claiming to always ensure their security software is up-to-date, with just 56% of women doing the same.

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