- Extra! Extra! Consumers get the scoop online. Across the globe, Internet users report reading their news online at nearly an equal rate as they read it in traditional printed newspapers and magazines. Seventy-nine percent report reading news from online sites or blogs at least an hour a month, compared to 85 percent who report reading news from a printed newspaper or magazine at least one hour per month.
- Beauty & Fashion. About half of adult online users across the globe get beauty and/or fashion advice online at least "sometimes" (48 percent). China leads the pack with 82 percent of online users reporting that they get beauty and/or fashion advice online.
- Internet users ring up online sales. About half of online users feel confident shopping online (53 percent), with confidence strongest in the UK (78 percent) and the U.S. (63 percent). The region having the least amount of confidence in online shopping is Japan, where just 33 percent of online users report being "confident" in shopping online.
- XXX Online. About 4 in 10 online adults in all countries report visiting pornographic Web sites (41 percent), with about one-half of Chinese (51 percent) and Brazilians (55 percent) reporting doing the same. Globally, men (58 percent) are much more likely to visit porn sites than women (18 percent).
- Goofing around. About 4 in 10 adult users (38 percent) own a video game console, except in Germany were it dips to about 2 in 10 adults (24 percent).
- No duh. Nearly all adults across all countries e-mail at least sometimes (99 percent).
The Experts Chime In
"Parents are in the dark when it comes to knowing what their kids are doing online," said Marian Merritt, Internet Safety Advocate for Symantec. "They don't have a clue how much time their kids are spending online. They don't know where their kids are going when they are online. And, they certainly don't know who their kids are talking to online. This report clearly demonstrates a global digital divide between parents and their cyber-savvy children. We've always taught our children not to talk to strangers in the offline world, and now we must teach our children how to safely exist in an online world filled with strangers."
"Two-way communications technologies -- things like VoIP, chat and instant message -- were seamlessly integrated into online games, virtual worlds, e-commerce sites and more. The integration happened so rapidly that we never stopped to think that we were really connecting with strangers... albeit in an online world," said Dave Cole, Senior Product Manager for Norton by Symantec. "It's only natural that the relationships that were born online would eventually migrate to the offline world. What surprised us was how fast this migration has occurred and how deeply it has infiltrated nearly every activity, from online dating and networking to online baking and information seeking."