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

The level of concern Philadelphia area residents age 40+ have about providing personal information over the Internet, their experience with various ways personal information and computers can be accessed through spam, phishing, worms or viruses, and spyware, and what they are doing to prevent various types of destructive email and software, as well as where they would turn for help are examined in this AARP telephone survey of Philadelphia metro area residents.

Of those surveyed...

  • 67 percent own a computer or laptop and 69 percent (of all respondents) access the Internet.
  • 49 percent access the Internet at least once a day and another 14 percent connect to it at least once a week.

Among the Internet and email users surveyed...

  • 77 percent say they are either extremely or very concerned about providing personal information over the Internet.
  • 88 percent (of those who own a computer) report they have installed anti-virus protection software; 70 percent have set up filters or firewalls; and 70 percent have installed anti-spyware software.
  • 73 percent mistakenly think or don't know that when a website has a privacy policy, it does not prevent the site from sharing customers' personal information with others.

This AARP telephone survey of 500 Philadelphia area metro residents ages 40 and older was conducted from September 22 through October 3, 2006. Brittne Nelson and Jennifer Sauer of AARP Knowledge Management wrote the report. For more information, contact Jennifer Sauer at 202-434-6207. (22 pages)

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