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

Most age 40+ Raleigh-Durham area residents own a computer, access the Internet and use email to communicate with others, making them potential targets for online criminals who might defraud them, damage their computers, or invade their privacy — North Carolina has the 21st highest number of identity theft victims in the United States. This telephone survey explores their online experiences, gauges their level of concern about providing personal information online, and examines the preventative measures they take to avoid problems.

Of those surveyed...

  • 73 percent own a personal computer (PC) or laptop computer
  • 79 percent access the Internet
  • 60 percent access the Internet at least daily and 13 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
  • 56 percent have received a phishing email seeking personal information
  • 82 percent avoid giving out their email addresses and/or posting them on websites
  • 92 percent of those who also own a computer say they have installed anti-virus protection software while 80 percent have set up filters or firewalls and 77 percent have installed anti-spyware software

The telephone survey of 500 age 40+ Raleigh-Durham area residents was conducted for AARP by Alan Newman Research, Inc. between September 29th and October 9th, 2006. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report's author, Jennifer H. Sauer, at 202-434-6207. (22 pages)

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