LONDON: Nearly two-thirds of homes in the UK are now online, the numbers climbing by almost one million over the past year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The latest numbers show 61% of British households are connected to the web, compared with 54% in May 2006; while 84% of those homes access the internet via broadband.

London currently has the highest level of households with broadband at 60%. Northern Ireland remains the region with the lowest level (40%) of homes accessing broadband.

The figures also show that older people are less likely to be online-oriented with 71% of the 65+ age group saying they had never used the internet. In stark contrast, of those aged between 16 and 24, only 4% had never been online.

Cyber consumerism is steadily gaining in popularity with 53% of those surveyed saying they had bought something via the web this year, compared with 44% in 2006.

However, 46% of web users said they never or hardly ever backed-up files on their computer - and of those, 21% had suffered a computer virus during the last twelve months.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff