Tag Archives: Survey

For vast majority of seniors who own one, a smartphone equals ‘freedom’

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When it comes to tech adoption, seniors generally lag behind their younger counterparts. But for Americans ages 65 and older who own a smartphone, having one in their pocket is a liberating experience.

Asked if they feel that their phone represents “freedom” or “a leash,” 82% of smartphone-owning seniors described their phone as freeing, compared with 64% of those ages 18 to 29. By contrast, 36% of adult smartphone owners under the age of 30 described their phone as a leash, double the 18% of adults ages 65 and older who chose this term to describe their phone.

Similarly, when asked to describe their smartphone as “connecting” or “distracting,” older users are significantly more likely to choose “connecting” as the best descriptor. On the other hand, younger smartphone users are twice as likely as older adults to view their phone as “distracting” (37% vs. 18%).

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Our survey did not directly ask why users chose the terms that they did, but differences in usage patterns may play a role. Younger adults tend to use their phones for a far wider range of purposes (especially social networking and multimedia content) and are much more likely to turn to their phone as a way to relieve boredom and to avoid others around them.

Older adults, by contrast, tend to use their phones for a narrower range of purposes – especially basic communication functions such as voice calling, texting and email. For young adults, smartphones are often the device through which they filter both the successes and annoyances of daily life – which could help explain why these users are more likely to report feeling emotions about their phone ranging from happy and grateful to frustrated or angry during a weeklong survey.

It is true, overall, that older Americans are less likely to be online, have broadband at home or own a mobile device. The same applies to smartphones: Only a quarter (27%) of adults ages 65 and older own them, compared with 85% of 18- to 29-year-olds, according to a Pew Research Center report released earlier this month.

A previous Pew Research study found that lower adoption rates of new technologies are often related to barriers seniors face when adopting them. These include medical conditions that make it difficult for older Americans to use certain technologies or devices. Skepticism about the benefits of technology and lack of digital literacy are other deterrents cited by older adults.

But that’s not to say older Americans aren’t broadening their digital experiences. In 2014, for the first time, more than half of online seniors indicated that they use Facebook: 56% of online adults ages 65 and older do so, up from 45% a year earlier. Internet use and broadband adoption continue to climb among older adults, and although there remains a wide age gap in smartphone ownership, the proportion of older adults who own a smartphone has increased by 8 percentage points since early 2014. Plus, older Americans who are internet adopters tend to have highly positive attitudes about the impact of online access on their lives, including the access that smartphones give them.

For more information and the original story follow this link to Pew Research Center.

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More online Americans say they’ve experienced a personal data breach

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As news of large-scale data breaches and vulnerabilities grows, new findings from the Pew Research Center suggest that growing numbers of online Americans have had important personal information stolen and many have had an account compromised.

Findings from a January 2014 survey show that:

• 18% of online adults have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information. That’s an increase from the 11% who reported personal information theft in July 2013.

• 21% of online adults said they had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission. The same number reported this experience in a July 2013 survey.

Last week’s discovery of the Heartbleed security flaw is the latest in a long string of bad news about the vulnerabilities of digital data. The bug, which affects a widely-used encryption technology that is intended to protect online transactions and accounts, went undetected for more than two years. Security researchers are unsure whether or not hackers have been exploiting the problem, but the scope of the problem is estimated to affect up to 66% of active sites on the Internet.

In December, Target announced that credit and debit card information for 40 million of its customers had been compromised. Shortly thereafter, the retailer reported that an even larger share of its customers may have had personal information like email and mailing addresses stolen. In January, Nieman Marcus reported the theft of 1.1 million credit and debit cards by hackers who had invaded its systems with malware.

The consequences of these flaws and breaches may add insult to injury for those who have already experienced some kind of personal information theft. And research suggests that young adults and younger baby boomers may have been especially hard hit in the second half of 2013.

In our survey last year, we found that 7% of online adults ages 18-29 were aware that they had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card or bank account information. The latest survey finds that 15% of young adults have experienced this kind of personal information theft. Similarly, those ages 50-64 became significantly more likely to report that they had personal information stolen; while 11% said they had this experience in July, that figure jumped to 20% in January. Increases among other age groups were not statistically significant.

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As online Americans have become ever more engaged with online life, their concerns about the amount of personal information available about them online have shifted as well. When we look at how broad measures of concern among adults have changed over the past five years, we find that internet users have become more worried about the amount of personal information available about them online—50% reported this concern in January 2014, up from 33% in 2009.

Source: Pew Research Center

Survey on the Most Popular Cell Phone Activities in 2012

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project obtained readings on some of the most popular cell phone activities among adults in nationally representative phone surveys in the spring and summer.

It’s no secret that the use of cell phones has become so common place, that people, like myself, use them to do just about everything throughout the day. Because cell phones now have the capabilities to accomplish these tasks.

So naturally the number of people who own a cell phone has increased and so has the number of people that use their devices to do much more than make phone calls. Cell phones have become a portal for an ever-growing list of activities. Fully 85% of American adults own and use their cell phones in various ways.

These results come from two Pew Internet tracking surveys:

    • One was conducted between August 7-September 6. 2012 with 3,014 American adults (ages 18+). Among them were 2,581 the cell phone owners and the margin of error in the survey for findings among cell owners is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.

    • The second survey was conducted between March 15-April 3, 2012 among 2,254 adults, including 1,954 cell owners, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

Both surveys were conducted on landline and cell phones and in English and Spanish.

Read the full Report Here (PDF)

Breakdown of survey chart:

Taking Photos:
2010: 76% of users
Now: 82% of users

Texting:
2007: 58% of users
Now: 80% of users

Accessing the Internet:
2008: 25% of users
Now: 56% of users

Send and Receive Email:
2007: 19% of users
Now: 50% of users

Record Video:
2007: 18% of users
Now: 44% of users

Download Apps:
2009: 22% of users
Now: 43% of users

Look for Health Information:
2010: 17% of users
Now: 31% of users

Check Bank Account:
2011: 18% of users
Now: 29% of users