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Caught in the NET: A Survey of New York City Area Residents 40+ About Online Use and Safety

As New York City area residents increasingly become computer owners, accessing the Internet and using email to communicate with others, the opportunities for fraud and technical damage to their computers and personal files can also increase. One form of computer crime, identity theft, is particularly significant to the NYC area which the Federal Trade Commission ranks 21st in the nation for ID theft while New York State is 8th among all states.

This telephone survey of 500 age 40+ NYC area residents explores their online experiences and examines the preventative measures they take to avoid problems.

Of those surveyed...

  • 63 percent own a personal computer (PC) or laptop computer
  • 67 percent access the Internet
  • 47 percent access the Internet at least daily and 15 percent at least weekly

Among those accessing the Internet and/or using email...

  • 92 percent are concerned to some extent about providing personal information over the Internet
  • 48 percent have received a phishing email seeking personal information
  • 82 percent avoid giving out their email addresses and 77 percent don't post them on websites
  • 88 percent of those who also own a computer say they have installed anti-virus protection software while 76 percent have set up filters or firewalls and have installed anti-spyware software

Surveying was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research, Inc. between September 15th and 26th, 2006. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report's author, Jennifer H. Sauer, at 202-434-6207. (23 pages)

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