UK internet users spend 'nearly 17 hours online a week' header image

UK adults are spending more time online, according to new research from Ofcom.

The organisation found the typical internet user spent 16.8 hours connected each week last year, compared to 15.1 hours in 2011.

On average, people tend to visit 19 websites on a weekly basis. However, there is considerable age variation, with those aged 75 and over estimating they only view seven sites in the same period.

Internet use is higher in individuals from upper middle class and middle class households, who typically visit 27 websites each week.

Social networking continues to grow in popularity, particularly among the older generation.

In 2012, just under two-thirds of adult internet users said they had a social networking profile, a significant increase on 59 per cent in 2011.

This growth has been driven by people aged between 55 and 64, 35 per cent of whom now have accounts, compared to 24 per cent in 2011.

Over 70 per cent of people with a social networking profile claimed to visit websites such as Facebook and Twitter at least daily.

Half of the people surveyed said they log on to these sites more than once a day, while nine per cent claimed they do so over ten times a day.

Ofcom's survey also highlighted an increasing number of people who believe the internet is regulated.

Forty-four per cent of users said they think programmes, or clips of programmes shown on broadcasters' websites, such as the BBC and ITV, are regulated.

The report also found that many people are not varying or using strong enough passwords for their online accounts.

Over 50 per cent of users claimed to have the same password for most websites, while a quarter said they tend to use easy-to-remember passwords like birthdays or names.

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