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'Silver surfer' internet use boosted by tablets

30 Apr 2014

Individuals aged 65 and over are increasingly using tablet computers to access the internet, a new report has revealed.

The research, from Ofcom, shows that the number of so-called 'silver surfers' accessing the internet has increased by more than a quarter in the last year, driven largely by a three-fold rise in the use of tablets.

According to Ofcom, 83% of adults surfed the internet in 2013 compared with 79% in 2012, with 42% of older people going online in 2013 compared with 33% in 2012. The number of 65-74 year olds using tablet computers rose from 5% in 2012, to 17% in 2013.

Browsing websites and using email are the two key online activities carried out by older users, although some also access the internet for online banking, watching programmes or films, and visiting social network sites or apps.

The study also revealed that 98% of adults aged under 35 use the internet, with those aged 16-24 spending an average of more than 24 hours online every week. 59% of individuals now access the internet via a mobile phone.