Most of those with internet access (54.3 per cent) get online once a day or more, with the majority of them (70 per cent) spending an hour or more per day.
The results come from a recently completed study carried out by OgilvyOne consulting and Evresis Loyalty Management, two firms who wanted to establish a clear picture of internet usage trends in Cyprus.
Most people who use the internet in Cyprus do so to inform themselves about local and world affairs (62.3 per cent); 28.2 per cent for general recreation and web browsing; and 22.1 per cent for updates on sports news.
However, only 18.1 per cent use the internet in Cyprus for social networking through sites such as Facebook.
Downloading music and movies is also a relatively low priority for Cypriots, accounting for just 7.4 per cent of internet usage.
There has been a small drop since last year of the number of Cypriots visiting international news sites, but an increase in the number visiting Cypriot news sites, which Pericles Ellinas, the Director of OgilvyOne, attributed to an ongoing pessimistic and “continually the same” international news picture.
Only 11.4 per cent of Cypriots who use the world wide web do not visit foreign or international websites, confining their browsing to Cyprus-based internet pages.
Cypriot internet users are generally quite experienced and knowledgeable in the field, with 81.7 per cent of them first using the internet four years ago. A tiny minority of them, 3.4 per cent, spend all day on the internet, clocking their usage in at 11 hours plus.
An increasing number of people are using the internet to make purchases online, with the most common purchase, contrary to popular perceptions, being clothes which accounted for 36.4 per cent of online purchases. Books, TV’s, computers and travel (such as flights and package tours) account for around 13 per cent each.
In terms of email providers, the vast majority of Cypriots remain loyal to Cytanet which provides email to 54.7 per cent of internet users. This is followed by web-based services such as msn with 32.6 per cent and gmail with 17.2 per cent, whilst alternative Cypriot service providers such as Primetel and Spidernet account for less than five per cent each.
Concerning the vital issue of internet connection speed, Cypriots are very well provided for with no dial-ups and long lag times for the majority on the island, as 87.6 per cent have ADSL. However, few of them actually bother to know the technical details of the service, as long it is fast enough, with the majority who knew saying the speed of their connection was 1mbps, but with nearly half (40.1 per cent) saying they didn’t actually know.
By Sebastian Heller, Cyprus Mail, November 20, 2009