Statistics: Internet use has evolved since the peak of the pandemic | Economy

Epp Remmelg, an analyst at Statistics Estonia, said: “It should be noted, however, that at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, internet use among older age groups increased by 17%, whereas that this year it only increased by 5%.

The majority of respondents use the internet several times a day, with only one in seven using it less often, Remmelg added.

Political and civic issues had also drawn people more online, Remmelg added, as had the earlier need to obtain Covid certification.

“Compared to last year, the largest increases occurred in participating in online debates or polls on civic or political issues and in downloading documents. The latter is directly related to the need to download a Covid passport and a vaccination certificate – up to 74% of Internet users have done so,” Remmelg continued.

Conversely, e-commerce, which boomed at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, has seen a decline as society reopens – although this has resulted in an increase in usage. from the web to, for example, get tickets to the types of events that were mostly off the table during the pandemic.

Remmelg said: “The structure of online shopping has changed compared to last year and the general trend is similar to the pre-pandemic period. Shopping in online stores for household goods and, to a lesser extent , food and consumer goods fell. Three of those who used e-commerce last year bought household goods, while only one in four did so this year.”

At the same time, with the easing of coronavirus restrictions, there has been a surge in the online purchase of tickets for various events, accommodation and other travel services as well as policies. associated insurance.

The number of such purchases has not yet reached 2019 levels, however, she said. “17% of e-commerce users have purchased investment products such as stocks, funds and bonds – a higher proportion than ever before.”

Statistics Estonia’s survey, conducted in the second quarter of this year, also revealed the following:

  • The Internet is still used by almost all (99%) young and middle-aged people (up to 44).
  • The number of Internet users decreases from the age of 45, with 85% of 55-64 year olds.
  • 69% of people of retirement age (65-74) use the Internet.
  • The most common purposes of using the internet are email (91% of respondents cited it) and internet banking (91% of respondents), as well as finding information (86%) and reading newspapers and magazines online (87%).
  • The number of e-shoppers also fell slightly due to the end of coronavirus restrictions.
  • Purchases from Estonian online shops fell, while orders from online shops in other European countries increased by 5%.
  • More than half of internet users use a smart TV with internet access.
  • However, two in five people use internet-controlled home appliances such as thermostats, lights, security cameras, alarms, or internet-connected home appliances like robotic lawn mowers or vacuum cleaners.
Use of e-commerce. Source: Statistics Estonia

Companies need to protect themselves from security threats

Statistics Estonia’s survey also found that companies are plagued by security issues, partly due to a shortage of technology (ICT) specialists.

Last year, more than a quarter of companies experienced at least one security incident in which an ICT service was unavailable, data was lost or corrupted, or confidential data was leaked.

A more serious issue was an ICT security incident in which ICT services were unavailable due to hardware or software failures or external attacks. 24% of companies have encountered this problem, according to Statistics Estonia.

Data was lost or corrupted due to software failures, malware infections or unauthorized intrusions in 4% of companies. 2% of companies have experienced a leak of confidential data.

Sixty-two percent of companies educate their employees about ICT security, either through mandatory or optional training and reading materials, or by including ICT security rules in their employment contract.

Thirty-seven percent of companies have documentation on ICT security assessment, practices and procedures, which is an increase of 9 percentage points from 2019, when companies were asked about ICT security. TIC.

Just over half (55%) of companies have used an external service provider for ICT security-related tasks such as security testing, ICT security training and incident response. Thirty-seven percent of companies have their own staff performing ICT-related tasks, including ICT security tasks.

Seventeen percent of companies in 2022 had ICT specialists on their payroll, up one percentage point from 2020, while only 8% of companies hired or attempted to hire ICT specialists Last year.

Recruitment of ICT specialists has proven to be particularly difficult for large companies, and the shortage of candidates and the lack of experience in the ICT field have been identified as the main problems.

The Covid era has been followed by many businesses adopting new digital solutions to stay in touch, with 46% of businesses using online platforms such as Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, WebWx, etc., to communicate , and about three quarters of companies had implemented access to business applications and software for their employees.

Enterprise ICT security risk assessment. Source: Statistics Estonia

Statistics Estonia conducts its survey of ICT usage in households, by users aged 16-74 in the second quarter of every year, according to a harmonized methodology used by statistical offices of all EU countries

The 2022 survey covered 3,400 businesses with 10 or more employees.

More detailed information is available here (in Estonian) and here.

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