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Old people like the internet

Silver surfers up a third, say new figures
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor on

Silver surfers up a third, say new figures

The number of silver surfers has risen by nearly a third in the last year, with the UK having the second highest proportion in Europe, according to new figures.

Research by Nielsen/NetRatings shows that there are 11.5 million people aged 55 and over using the internet in Europe – a leap of 28 per cent since September last year. Sweden comes out top, with the UK close behind and Italy and Spain lagging behind at the back.

And far from stashing their life savings in a biscuit tin under the bed it seems silver surfers are spending a lot of time getting to grips with online banking, with finance sites such as Barclays and LloydsTSB being particularly popular.

Strangely, mapping sites including Multimap.com and Streetmap.co.uk are also frequently used by older internet users in the UK.

Sweden also has the highest proportion of older women using the web but the UK has the second fewest, with 68 per cent of older users being male.

Tom Ewing, market analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, said in a statement that older internet users are still not being effectively targeted by marketers and websites.

"Site owners have an opportunity to promote their products and services to this growing audience, many of whom are already organising their finances and booking holidays online. However, they do need to research their audience in order to tailor their sites, products and services more carefully,” he said.

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