In the first quarter of 2019, 83% of individuals aged 16–74 years regularly used the Internet (80% in 2018). 74% of 16–74–year-olds used the Internet every day or almost every day (71% in 2018) and 69% several times during the day (65% in 2018). The share of regular Internet users is still the lowest among 65–74-year-olds (47%), where the same percentage of them never used the Internet.
A large majority of regular Internet users accessed the Internet via smartphone (92%) (85% in 2018). 61% accessed the Internet via portable computer (63% in 2018), 48% via desktop computer (the same as in 2018), 26% via tablet computers (25% in 2018) and 6% via other mobile devices, e.g. games player, e-reader, smart watch (4% in 2018).
More than half of non-Internet users aged 65–74 years
The digital divide, the inequality in access and use of information and communication technologies, is the highest among individuals aged 65 and over. 13% of individuals aged 16–74 years never used the Internet in the first quarter of 2019 (16% in 2018). More than half of individuals who never used the Internet were aged 65–74 years (51%), 35% were aged 55–64 years, 10% 45–55 years and 3% 35–44 years.
As the most common reason why they have never used the Internet individuals stated (multiple answers were possible) that they were not interested in the Internet (59%) and 56% that they did not need the Internet, because they did not see it as useful. 28% stated as a reason that they lacked the necessary skill for the usage of computers, the Internet (32% of individuals aged 65–74 years, 26% 55–64 years, 23% 45–54 years and 18% 35–44 years).
7% of non-Internet users stated that they did not use the Internet due to concerns about privacy or security, e.g. distrust in providing personal data over the Internet, and due to fear of catching a computer viruses. 11% of non-Internet users stated that other individuals carried out Internet activities for them.
Almost half of 16–74-year-olds use instant messaging
The Internet is crucial for communication in the digital age. In the first quarter of 2019, 49% of individuals aged 16–74 years used instant messaging for exchanging messages via applications such as Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, etc., and 42% of individuals made calls or video calls over the Internet.
30% of 16–74-year-olds uploaded to any website or application self-created photos, videos, text, music to be shared, e.g. on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram Viber.
52% of 16–74-year-olds participated in social networks (posted messages, published pictures or managed profile on e.g. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram). The majority of users were among individuals aged 16–74 years (89%) and 25–34 years (76%).
Increased usage of Internet banking
The Internet and information technologies enable provision of and access to various services regardless of business hours of the provider or location of the users. Internet banking was used in the first quarter of 2019 by 47% of individuals aged 16–74 years (42% in 2018). The usage by age classes was as follows: 63% among individuals aged 25–34 years, 62% among individuals aged 35–44 years and 57% among individuals aged 45–54 years.
The eZdravje services of public authorities on the zVEM portal, e.g. the service eNaročanje, access to own medical records, were used by 15% of 16–74-year-olds. The share of the usage was the highest with 21% among individuals aged 35–44 years.
30% of individuals aged 16–74 years stored personal documents pictures, music, video or other files on the storage space on the Internet – in a cloud (24% in 2018).
Smart devices: interaction with household’s equipment or appliances over the Internet
Smart devices or Internet of Things is the next step in digitization, where different devices are connected to each other via the Internet. Examples are smart home appliances that can be operated or controlled by other devices via the Internet, e.g. with a smartphone.
6% of individuals aged 16–74 years interacted via the Internet with households’ equipment or appliances such as thermostat, light bulb, robot vacuum or security system. The usage of these devices was the highest among 35–44-year-olds (10%). These devices were used by 8% of 25–34-year-olds, 6% of 16–24-year-olds, 5% of 45–54-year-olds, 3% of 55–64-year-olds and 2% of 65–74-year-olds.
The most common problem related to the Internet usage receipt of a fraudulent message
The usage of the Internet, e.g. for communication, online shopping, use of public administration services, brings benefits but at the same time exposes users to new potential dangers. 11% of individual aged 16–74 years answered in the first quarter of 2019 that they received in the period of 12 months a fraudulent message the intent of which was to obtain information about users, e.g. passwords, usernames, credit card information, etc. (phishing attack). 6% were redirected to fake websites asking for their personal information (pharming attack). 2% were the victims of fraudulent credit or debit card use.
1% of individuals aged 16–74 years encountered in the period of 12 months the following security related problems through using the Internet for private purposes: loss of documents, pictures or other data due to a virus or other infection, e.g. worm or Trojan horse; misuse of personal information available on the Internet resulting in e.g. discrimination, harassment, bullying; their social network or e-mail account was hacked and content being posted or sent without their knowledge or with the situation that children accessed inappropriate websites.
1% or around 10,170 individuals aged 16–74 years that used the Internet in the last 12 months for private purposes experienced financial loss resulting from identity theft, receiving fraudulent messages or being redirected to fake websites.