Ofcom has today published qualitative research carried out by Ipsos MORI, looking at how people use the internet and interact with online services. "Being online: an investigation of people's habits and attitudes" was commissioned to inform Ofcom's duties in relation to consumers' and citizens' communications interests, and its regulatory duty to promote media literacy. The study finds that people tend to make subconscious trade-offs between risk and rewards in their online activities. People use very varied strategies for staying safe online, and there is little consensus as to what these strategies should be, as well as misconceptions about what constitutes "safe" behaviour.
We will use these findings to help further our media literacy research programme, identifying core areas to track over time via quantitative research. In addition, we intend to engage with stakeholders to highlight possible areas of focus for end-user initiatives, relating to online security, perception of risk, use of personal data and attitudes to rights and responsibilities.