Online or offline, the web users questioned are very security-conscious: nine out of ten lock the door when they leave the house. Similarly, 93 per cent of online users have equipped their PC or notebook with an antivirus program; firewalls are installed by 81 per cent of users. Regular updates of the browser and the operating system are widespread (78%). Only two per cent of German online users admit that they have not taken any security precautions for Internet use.
How well online users protect themselves over and above the standard precautions nevertheless depends largely on their Internet skills. Almost two thirds (64%) of online users questioned state that they can surf the Internet competently. These surfers use more secure passwords which contain special characters, for example. They also protect their anonymity in the Internet better: they regularly delete cookies or where the browser has been (66%; for surfers who do not see themselves as competent, the figure is 48%). They use neutral e-mail addresses which do not contain their names (25% compared to 7%), and 20 per cent use alternative search engines which for example do not store the IP address of their own computer. Almost half (49%) of this group have installed security software with special browser protection, anti phishing programs, etc. – among those who do not claim to have high Internet skills, the figure is only one in three (34 %).
Smartphonesurfers need to catch up: Though about 80 per cent of them know that there are special firewalls or antivirus systems for smartphones, only one in four of them (25%) have actually installed antivirus protection and not even one in five of them (18%) have a firewall.