Internet users’ experience of harm online
This research was commissioned by Ofcom. The Information Commissioner’s Office provided advice on the research design and analysis.
The main objective of the research was to quantify concerns about, and reported experience of, online harm in four key categories:
- Content that people view, read or listen to online
- Interactions with other users
The research also explored knowledge and opinions of the current level of regulation that applies to broadcast and online environments.
Summary of key findings
- 79% of UK adult internet users have concern(s) about aspects of going online
- 66% are concerned about content that people view, read or listen to online
- 58% are concerned about data/privacy
- 55% are concerned about interactions with other users
- 54% are concerned about hacking/security
- 45% of UK adult internet users indicated that they have experienced some form of online harm
- 21% of UK adult internet users have taken action to report harmful content
- The broadcast and online regulatory framework is not well understood by a significant proportion of the public
- Views are split on whether current regulations are sufficient, or whether more is required. Few believe regulation should be reduced