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Study: Brits spend almost 59 hours a week online, claims survey

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Brits spend almost 59 hours a week online, the equivalent of more than 2 full days out of 7, according to a survey by cybersecurity company NordVPN.

This amounts to 128 days a year, or more than 22 years per lifetime online. However, that’s the 4th lowest number among 16 surveyed countries globally.

The average time Brits start browsing the internet each day is 8:52am – and they don’t log off until 21:25pm. But how do they spend most of their time?  

Brits love streaming TV shows and films

Brits spend the most time online streaming TV shows and films over Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+. For this activity, they spend 7 hours and 55 minutes per week, which is the second highest result within Europe, behind only Spain.

Nearly 5 hours (4 hours and 57 minutes) are spent scrolling through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Even though it’s the second most popular activity online for Brits, most of them name the same platforms as tracking their online activities the most.

“Social media for Brits is like a love-hate story. They spend endless hours scrolling but at the same time feel anxious about its privacy concerns. We often wait for that first phishing attempt to succeed, online scam to happen, or data leak to scare us in order to start taking our security online seriously,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN

Music and online games – among Brits’ top online priorities

Listening to music is a vital pastime during a Brit’s typical week. For this activity, they spend 4 hours and 42 minutes/week. Only a few minutes less – 4 hours and 36 minutes per week – are dedicated to watching videos on platforms like YouTube.

“Brits proved that they are big social media lovers in another survey, which revealed that two-thirds of them scroll through social media while on the toilet. However, Brits are encouraged to not forget about their online safety, even while immersed in social media, conversations or games,” says Daniel Markuson from NordVPN.  

While Brits like listening to music, nearly half of them (46%) feel they are being listened to by their own devices.  

1 in 2 Brits admitted they cannot imagine going a whole day without being online 

The NordVPN survey also showed that 1 in 2 Brits (54%) admitted they cannot imagine a whole day without being online.

“The use of technology and the internet in daily life has increased for almost everyone throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. And even though many of us try to balance our lives and reduce hours spent online, we often face the impossible as we are dependent on the internet both for our professional activities as well as for the majority of our hobbies too,” says Daniel Markuson.

5 top tips to stay safe online:

Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN, shares some tips to make Brits’ online time both enjoyable and secure: 

  • Use secure passwords. If you find it hard to remember them, try a password manager.
  • Double check and verify links. Avoid suspicious ads, links, or emails from people you don’t know.
  • Use a VPN. It will encrypt your connection so that no one can breach your privacy or snatch your personal data.
  • Use secure public Wi-Fi. Hackers set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots to lure unsuspecting web surfers in. Once someone logs in to it, the hacker can see basically everything people do online.
  • Don’t share personal information. It goes without saying that you should never share your passwords, banking information, or address online. Other information could be used to guess answers to your security questions or even give hackers a tip-off when it comes to guessing your password.

Chris Price


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