S'pore Net usage remains high, says study

The new IDA survey also indicates users are becoming more sophisticated, where 80 percent have antivirus software on their PCs.

SINGAPORE--Infocomm usage continues to be pervasive in the island-state as more Singaporeans exploit technology for work, education and leisure, according to a new national survey.

Released on Saturday by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the finding is part of the latest annual survey on infocomm usage in households and individuals in 2005. A total of 2,000 households and 2,000 individuals were interviewed between November last year and January 2006.

The survey showed that household Internet penetration remains high, where two in three households have access to the Web.

Ninety-six percent of Internet users, aged 15 years and above, used the Internet to communicate, and 86 percent of users said they used the Internet to enrich their knowledge in the last 12 months. In addition, six in 10 Internet users in the same age group used the Internet for leisure such as playing computer games, downloading or uploading of digital photos, listening to online music, reading publications, and watching films over the Internet.

The survey also indicated that almost six in 10 Internet users made an online transaction with the government in the last 12 months. Four out of 10 Internet users made other online transactions, where online banking ranked as the most popular activity among users.

Singaporeans are also becoming more savvy Internet users, according to IDA. For instance, the survey revealed that eight in 10 online home users aged 15 years and above protect their computers at home with antivirus software.

According to IDA, 74 percent of households in Singapore today own PCs. In 2005, 28 percent of the households owned two or more computers at home, compared to 14 percent in 2000.

Mr Chan Yeng Kit, CEO of IDA, said in a statement: "Singaporeans have come a long way since Singapore embarked on national computerization [initiative] in 1981.

"As long as Singaporeans remain plugged-in and savvy about infocomm, I am confident that Singapore will be well-placed to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in the digital world."

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