US net users scared of big bad spying monster

Web users over the pond are scared of how much they are being spied on when they use the internet.

Boffins at the Centre for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California surveyed 1,926 people many of whom were wearing their best tin foil hats.

They were particularly worried about businesses spying.  Over half of those surveyed worring about businesses checking what they do online while only 38 percent thought they had to worry about the government.

However, that hasn’t stopped people from going about their surfing ways, with 82 percent of the population using the net for shopping, social networking, emailing and probably those other things that many don’t speak of.

On average the US spends around 18 hours a week online, with 79 percent of these using their time just browsing. Just under half use it for banking and 46 percent social networking and video-sharing.

And as the years have gone on we’ve moved from the mouse and desktop to phones, tablets and other net based gadgets to feed our internet addiction.

Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future said that when his outfit started collecting data for its annual surveys 11 years ago, the Internet was almost completely PC-based and could be compared  with TV.

He added that previously people would use a dial-up service for around 30 minutes before getting back to watching telly.