Scots Internet Use Tops UK Charts at Over Ten Hours Per Week

Internet use in the home is higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK, at 10.6 hours per week compared to 8.4 hours, according to research conducted by the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom.

Says Ofcom, adults in Scotland also explore more new websites than UK counterparts and people in Scotland are happier to provide their personal information online than users anywhere else in the UK, with 49 per cent of adults in Scotland (compared to 59 per cent in the UK) believing that online purchases puts privacy at risk.

Meanwhile, 25 per cent of adults in Scotland say they now access the internet via a mobile phone or smartphone. 

Across the UK – as part of a 'media literacy' survey by Ofcom – some 31 per cent of adults believe content on the internet to be reliable and accurate, compared to television (52 per cent) and radio (50 per cent).

However, more people say that they trust news websites (58 per cent of internet users) than news output from TV (54 per cent of TV viewers) with the largest percentage of people trusting the news on the radio (66 per cent of radio listeners).

Eighty four per cent of parents surveyed in Scotland said that they trusted their children to use the internet safely and 71 per cent think that benefits of the internet for their children outweigh the risks.

Says Director of Ofcom Scotland, Vicki Nash: “This research reinforces the fact that digital media and communications services are increasingly becoming an essential part of everyday life in Scotland. The Ofcom website has a range of guides designed to help people get the most from new technology while at the same time helping them avoid potential pitfalls.”

Says the report: “A majority of adults in Scotland using each medium say that they tend to trust the news output from TV and from news websites, with both measures similar to those found for all UK users. Compared to all UK adults, adults in Scotland are more likely to judge the information found on TV and on the radio to be reliable and accurate and more likely to say they don’t know whether the information found on the internet is reliable and accurate.

“The proportion of users in Scotland mentioning any concerns has decreased since 2007 for each of television, the internet and mobile phones. As with the UK as a whole, around six in ten internet users in Scotland have concerns about what is on the internet (58 per cent vs. 61 per cent) and around one in ten listeners has concerns about what is on radio (eight per cent vs. 11 per cent). For the other key media, users in Scotland are less likely than users in the UK overall to have concerns: namely television (31 per cent vs. 39 per cent) and mobile phones (13 per cent vs. 26 per cent). As with all UK internet users, concern about what is on the internet mostly relates to offensive or illegal content.

“As in 2007, when asked about their preferred way of learning about digital technology, around half of adults in Scotland and in the UK overall nominate learning from friends or family (both 48 per cent) or reading the manual/ instructions (40 per cent vs. 45 per cent). Compared to UK adults overall, adults in Scotland are more likely to prefer to learn through trial and error (51 per cent vs. 42 per cent). Few adults in the UK as a whole prefer to go to a class to learn about digital technology, and this is less likely among adults in Scotland (four per cent vs. nine per cent).”

For more on Ofcom's UK Adults’ Media Literacy, click here.