Women take the lead in using internet

Muscat: There are more women internet users in Oman compared to men – women stand at 97% compared to 94% of male internet users.  Men are catching up because in 2019 the percentage of male internet users was 91% while women were 97% then as well.

Out of the total internet users under the category of ‘Use of internet by individuals across nationality and gender’ – Omanis and non-Omani see same percentage 95% of internet usage.

The use of internet by individuals across the age groups of 18 to 24, 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 is 97%, the age group 45 to 54 sees 93% compared to 85%in 2019.  About 80% of the 55 and above age group is actively using internet compared to 71% in 2019.

The survey of Measuring the Access to and Use of ICT by Households and Individuals 2020 survey was carried out during the period of 9th to 20thFebruary 2020.

The most important indicators of access to information and communication technologies by the household sector are possession to smart phones, which reached 95%, in addition to household access to the Internet, which reached 94%, while household possession to computers (including smart phones) reached 96%.

Oman is a nation that is social media savvy and the latest survey by the ministry of Technology and Communications (MTC)and the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) proves that Whats App (92%) takes the lead followed by You Tube (81%).

Face Book comes in as the third most favourite social media platform with 56%, imo 47%, Instagram 44%, twitter 26% and following closely is Snapchat with 24% and Linked In with 10%.

The above indicators as a percentage are from the total population aged 18 years and above.

About 92% of the population uses means of email, Whats App, SMS in sending messages, about 52% have taken steps in setting up effective security measures in terms of creating strong pass words, log-in attempt notifications etc.

Only 49% indulge in changing privacy settings on the device, account or app (such as avoiding automatic download pages and turn off location services).  Only 24% have been creating electronic presentation with software including images, sound, video, but only 8% has been involved in writing a computer program in any specialized programming language.

The digital lifestyle is catching up as the survey revealed the various reasons the internet was used.

The highest use of internet was for access of information (77%) and entertainment such as downloading images, movies, videos, music and playing games (77%) while 58% of the population used internet for correspondence and communication, 38% for banking, 34% for interacting with government services, 31% used internet for online shopping and services, 28% for education purpose and the same percentage for seeking jobs and 25% for traveling purposes said the statement.

The aim of the survey is to provide the required data for decision makers to formulate the related policies and updating Oman indicators in the international organizations databases such as ITU, UNDESA and ESCWA.

The survey was conducted by the NCSI Call Center through telephone interviews on a sample of 2,612 individuals 18 years and above, and the sample represented all governorates of the Sultanate, as the Omanis comprised 44% and expats56%. The survey questionnaire was designed according to the International standards and definitions related to ICT indicators.

The survey questionnaire was divided into two main parts: the first part focused on measuring household access to information and communication technologies such as Internet, mobile and smart devices, while the second part focused on measuring individual’s use of information and communication technologies during the past three months, such as the Internet, the type of activities carried out online, the skills of using information and communication technologies and social media, as well as finding the most important reasons for not using the Internet.

All these indicators witnessed a slight decreaseby1% compared to the results of 2019. This year, the survey included measuring new indicators that were not included in the previous survey in 2019, namely the possession of smart TV 47%, smart watches 18%, smart cameras 14% and smart printers 14%.