Europeans 'cut off' without Web access

Consumers in central Europe say Web 2.0 applications are as reliable a source of information as TV or newspapers, a Telekom Austria survey found.
 
Around half of the users surveyed in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia during August rated Web content on-par with traditional sources of information in terms of the credibility and dependability of the details available.
 
Consumers in all three markets will readily source information from sites including Wikipedia, and many are active users of social networking sites, the telco said.
 
However, it expressed concern over the amount of information users share on sites including Facebook, noting that people “are often very careless about their privacy and tend to grant access to very confidential personal data unconditionally due to the high credibility values of such websites.”
 
In Croatia, 69% of users are happy to post a picture of themselves online, with a further 67% comfortable disclosing their full name. Slovenian’s will readily supply their postal address (29%) and phone number (20%).
 
Around 30% of users in Austria and Slovenia, and 40% in Croatia access social networking sites via mobile phones.
 
Croatians feel the most lost without Internet access. A massive 80% were uncomfortable when a connection wasn’t available, compared to 65% of Slovenians and 50% of Austrians.
 
Telekom Austria CEO Hannes Ametsreiter said the survey shows that information technologies “have the potential to bring about major social changes,” by mobilizing individuals and connecting “people across age barriers and country boundaries.”

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