However, strangely enough, this contrasted sharply with the relatively high percentage of Maltese Internet users (50%) who reported having suffered a computer virus. Only Bulgarian internet users (58%) caught more internet viruses than the Maltese. The EU average is of 31%.
The same survey revealed that only 2% of Maltese internet users reported that they experienced children accessing inappropriate websites or connecting with potentially dangerous persons while using a computer within the household. And only 9% of Maltese internet users use a parental control or a web filtering software. This is below the EU average of 14%.
In the EU in 2010, almost one third of individuals (31%) who used the internet in the 12 months prior to the survey reported that they caught a virus or other computer infection resulting in loss of information or time during this period. The highest shares of internet users who caught a virus or other computer infection were found in Bulgaria (58%), Malta (50%), Slovakia (47%), Hungary (46%) and Italy (45%), and the lowest in Austria (14%), Ireland (15%), Finland (20%) and Germany (22%).
Among the individuals in the EU who used the internet in the last 12 months, 4% reported that they suffered from an abuse of personal information sent on the internet and/or other privacy violations in this period, with the highest shares in Bulgaria and Spain (both 7%), Italy and the Netherlands (both 6%). In the same period, 3% of internet users in the EU suffered financial loss due to phishing or pharming attacks or fraudulent payment card use4, with the highest shares recorded in Latvia (8%), the United Kingdom (7%), Malta and Austria (both 5%).
In 2010 in the EU, a large majority of individuals (84%) who used the internet in the last 12 months stated that they used an IT security software or tool4 to protect their private computer and data. Among the Member States, more than 90% of internet users in the Netherlands (96%), Luxembourg, Malta and Finland (all 91%) used IT security software, while it was less than two-thirds in Latvia (62%), Romania (64%) and Estonia (65%).
In 2010, 14% of individuals in the EU who used the internet in the last 12 months and live in a household with children had a parental control or web filtering software installed. This share was highest in Luxembourg and Slovenia (both 25%), followed by France (24%), Denmark, Austria, the United Kingdom (all 21%) and Finland (20%).
Of the individuals in the EU who used the internet in the last 12 months and live in a household with children, 5% reported that they experienced children accessing inappropriate websites or connecting with potentially dangerous persons while using a computer within the household. The highest shares were recorded in Italy (11%) and Latvia (9%). It should be noted that this indicator only represents the share of individuals who became aware of this problem and thus it may underestimate the real figure.
The survey was issued in connection with the Safer Internet Day on 8th February 2011.
European Commissions Safer Internet Programme:
Safer Internet Day 2011 video: