The 2021 Digital Lives of Australians report has sought feedback from more than 1,500 Australian consumers and more than 400 small business owners about their online needs and challenges, who they turn to for advice and their hopes to better harness the Internet in the future.

The findings provide a significant snapshot of Australian consumer and small businesses’ online experiences, including:

  • Most consumers (89%) feel that the Internet has a positive impact on their lives and has improved all aspects of their lives.
  • Most small businesses use the Internet every day and almost all small businesses (92%) feel the Internet is important to their business and is an invaluable channel for generating revenue
  • 84% of small businesses value the Internet as an important channel for engaging with customers
  • The majority of working Australians rely on the Internet, with 58% telling us they could not perform their job without it
  • Individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds were more likely to report the Internet was invaluable to their lives than other Australians.

However, the research also found consumers and small businesses are not as confident as they could be using the Internet and that they face a number of online challenges. This indicates there are numerous opportunities for further investment, support, education and guidance, including:

  • Cyber security is the dominant digital concern among consumers, with at least three quarters of Internet users worrying about the security of their personal information online (84%), the privacy of their online activities (81%) and the risk of falling for an online scam (75%)
  • Cyber security is also a concern for small business, with just under a quarter (22%) reporting they do not use the Internet more frequently because they are worried about being scammed or hacked - Despite this concern, small businesses do not invest heavily in cyber security.
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Digital lives of Australians 2022

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