The message of "safe surfing" seems to be getting through to the British Internet using public, according to a recent study. A poll conducted by the British Computer Society (BCS) has found that nine out of ten Britons take security precautions when surfing online, including the use of anti-virus software, firewalls and using a dedicated payment service or secure payment area of a website when purchasing online.

The study also examined how users utilised Internet access from their homes: 65 per cent said they used the Internet for online research or learning, 58 per cent for online purchasing, 46 per cent for reading information or news online, and 43 per cent for online banking.

It was also found that Internet shoppers spent an average of £164 each in the past month, and that the number of home internet users in Great Britain who have purchased online has increased by over 2 million people in the past year; up from approximately 15.2 to 17.4 million.