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Irish are among Europe's busiest social networkers

The numbers using Facebook may be in decline but Irish social networkers are still among the busiest in Europe.

Some 68pc of Irish people use social networking sites like Facebook -- the fourth-highest rate in Europe, a new EU survey has found.

We come just behind Malta (71pc), Latvia (73pc) and Hungary (80pc).

Reports last week revealed that membership of Facebook has started dropping as millions are logging off for good -- the first time in the company's seven-year history that traffic has actually gone down instead of up.

But Irish users remain undeterred -- we are the third most likely country in Europe to use websites to share pictures, videos and movies at 58pc, just below Bulgaria and Lithuania (both 59pc).

The EU average was only 44pc with Germany at the bottom of the scale at 32pc, the Eurobarometer on Data Protection poll said.

Other findings include:

•15pc of Irish people surveyed maintain a blog, well above the EU average of 6pc;

•47pc of Irish internet users use anti-spy software compared with an EU average of 39pc;

•24pc of Irish internet users delete cookies, compared to an EU average of 35pc;

•15pc of respondents in Ireland said they did "nothing" to protect their identity on the internet.

Ireland has the fifth highest percentage of internet users, 73pc, who buy goods or services online, the survey found.

This compared with an EU average of 60pc, with the Netherlands the highest at 81pc, while the Greeks, at just 25pc, are the least likely to buy online.

The report also reveals that 57pc of Irish people interviewed give only the minimum information online, below the EU average of 62pc, and 74pc want to be able to detect personal information whenever they like, just below the EU average of 75pc.


Three-quarters of European respondents considered financial information, such as salary, bank details and credit record, to be personal.

The Irish were again above average, with 89pc of Irish people considering this information as personal, the fourth highest in Europe.

Irish people, at 93pc, topped the list of those who consider medical information, such as patient records and health information, as personal, with the EU average at 74pc.