Security, society and communities, health and fitness
Security is an area of life that is already highly networked. One in two Germans surveyed (50 percent) stated that digitization and networking in security was indispensable or very important for them personally. Digitization in this area was exceeded only by Great Britain (54 percent) and the United States (57 percent). In the areas society and community, and health and fitness, digitization and networking is very important for 25 percent and 13 percent respectively of the German Internet population. In health and fitness, other countries are far ahead of Germany: both in the United States and South Korea 26 percent of the respondents – or twice as many as in Germany – considered digitization and networking in this area indispensable or very important.
Security: Key results
More than half of the respondents in Germany and over three-quarters of the experts surveyed believe that the level of digitization in security will continue to rise even further, despite the very high initial level. It is important to bear in mind that this area of life comprises two different aspects.
Firstly, there is personal sense of security, which is heightened considerably by carrying a mobile phone. 74 percent of German Internet users stated that their mobile phone gives them a sense of security (e.g. because they could use it to call for help when they are on their own).
This mobile phone function is even more important in the United States (76%), in Great Britain (77%) and especially in Hungary (89%). 86 percent of respondents in the digital avant-garde group also rated this aspect very highly (see Figure 46).
The area security not only covers personal security, but also the important issue of securing privacy on the Internet. The study shows that this is an aspect that consumers consider very important. Around 86 percent of German Internet users believe that children and young people should be taught at school how to use the Internet responsibly, as do 90 percent of the digital avant-garde group.
83 percent of the respondents in Germany stated that they were (very) interested in services relating to online privacy and data security, i.e. services which protect online privacy. 79 percent were interested in services for the protection of minors.
Other important issues connected with security are the issues of system security and data security. 88 percent of Internet users in Germany expressed an interest in services relating to system security. These include anti-virus and anti-spam protection services. Around 87 percent were interested in services aimed at preventing the misuse of data (e.g. in e-banking and online shopping) (see Figure 47). In all the countries surveyed, around half of the respondents stated that they oft en worried whether their payment transactions were secure when shopping online.
Society and communities: Key results
One in two respondents in Germany and Great Britain (both 51%) enjoyed communicating with other people who live far away, but who share the same interests. In the United States, 55 percent of those surveyed expressed an interest in these online communities, as did 56 percent in Hungary, 67 percent in France and 76 percent in South Korea.
An equal number of respondents in the digital avant-garde group enjoy communicating online with people with similar interests (see Figure 48). The Internet creates links between people and opens doors to other countries. It enables people to set up clubs and communities that are not based on geographic location, but focus instead on mutual interests, with membership open to anyone who shares these interest.
The Internet also plays an important role for society and communities on a local and regional level. For instance, users are increasingly using the Internet to find out about events taking place in their city. In the United States, 55 percent, and in South Korea, 68 percent of the respondents use the Internet as their prime source of information for what is on in their city. This also applies to 59 percent of the respondents in the digital avant-garde group in Germany (see Figure 49).
Naturally, the Internet plays an increasingly important role in politics. According to political experts, the US elections in 2008 were the first elections ever to be decided on the Internet.5
Health and fitness: Key results
31 percent of those surveyed in Germany stated that they researched their symptoms online before seeking help from a medical practitioner. After visiting a doctor, 36 percent of the German Internet users surveyed read up on their doctor’s diagnosis on the Internet. The respondents in the United States were most likely to do this: 70 percent stated that they researched their diagnosis online. In Great Britain, 60 percent read about their diagnosis online as do 50 percent in South Korea. The Internet is not only used by respondents to research existing symptoms; it is also used as a source of information about preventive medicine. 40 percent of German respondents regularly do an online health check, for example calculating their body-mass index, completing a nutrition check, a vitamin check or a risk factor check. The Germans were surpassed only by the Hungarians, with 45 percent of respondents in Hungary stating that they use the Internet for online health checks. In an international comparison, the Hungarians had the highest interest in health and fitness related services: 59 percent rated mobile health monitoring services very interesting or interesting. The services grouped under this heading are services that monitor key health indicators (e.g. breath rate, pulse, blood levels) with a mobile diagnosis device which can transmit the values to a health center or physician if necessary. In comparison: in Germany 36 percent of all respondents were interested in this type of service, with the figure rising to 64 percent for the digital avant-garde group. (see Figure 50).
5 See, for instance, Moorstedt, Tobias: Jeffersons Erben – Wie die digitalen Medien die Politik verändern. Suhrkamp publishers, Frankfurt am Main 2008.