When it comes to using the internet, the British attitude is largely 'safety first'.
According to a recent survey by the British Computer Society (BCS), British consumers take computer security seriously and this is leading to a healthy growth in online shopping and internet banking.
Over 90 per cent of home surfers responding to the survey protect themselves from common online threats such as viruses, spam and spyware. And a similar proportion takes active precautions against fraud when shopping or banking online.
The number of online home consumers in Britain has increased by over two million people in the past year, up from approximately 15.2 million to 17.4 million.
Online shoppers now spend an average of £164 per month online. More than half make use of secure payment areas on websites and 51 per cent limit their purchases to trusted or well-known retailers to keep their transactions safe.
"Installing antivirus software and a firewall is vital; likewise using a dedicated payment service, or secure payment area of a website when purchasing online," said BCS chief executive David Clarke.
"Without taking these precautions users can run into many problems, including losing files or releasing personal banking information with the serious risk of being defrauded or having their ID cloned."
UK broadband users spend an average of 50 days a year online, a survey earlier this week found.
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