Data presented by Eurostat for Safer Internet Day shows that just 15% of Irish internet users caught a computer virus in the twelve months prior to the survey, less than half the EU average of 31%. Bulgarian users were the most likely to have caught a virus at 58%.
Ireland was also below the EU average of 4% for privacy violations, with just 2% of users suffering an abuse of personal information sent on the internet. In the same period, 3% of internet users in the EU experienced financial loss due to phishing or pharming attacks or payment card misuse. Ireland was slightly above average at 4%.
While Irish internet users are less likely to have caught a virus, they are also less likely to use IT security software to protect their computer and their data. This type of software is used by 80% of Irish users compared to 84% of all EU users. Internet users in the Netherlands are the most careful, with 96% of them using anti-virus software during this period.
The use of parental filtering is quite uncommon in the EU. Just 14% of internet users who live in a household with children had a parental control or web filtering software installed. Irish use of parental filters was below the EU average at 10%. Romania and Slovakia were bottom of the table at just 3%.
Safer Internet Day is organised by INSAFE, a European internet safety network co-funded by the European Commission. It is part of a global drive to promote a safer internet for all users, particularly children and young people.