Internet and cloud services - statistics on the use by individuals
Over a quarter of the population using the internet but unaware of cloud services.
Use of cloud services
One in five individuals stored files on internet servers
About a third of young people in the EU saved files on internet storage space
The proportion of young people aged 16-24 using cloud services for saving files was more than three times higher than the proportion of 55-74 year olds making use of such services (35 % compared with 10 %). Similarly, the younger population made greater use of internet storage space for sharing files. At 25 %, the proportion of 16-24 year olds sharing files via the internet cloud was more than four times higher than the percentage doing so in the 55-74 age range (6 %).
Cloud services used less than social media for sharing files
Compared with other ways of electronic file sharing, services offering internet storage space were used less often. While only 15 % of the population used internet storage space for sharing files, 44 % used e-mail applications to do so and 30 % used USB sticks, DVDs or Bluetooth. Almost twice as many people as used cloud services used personal websites or social networking sites for this purpose (28 % compared with 15 %).
A large majority of cloud users saved or shared photos and used services free-of-charge
Photos were the most popular type of file for storing or sharing via cloud services. Among those who used internet storage space, 82 % saved or shared photos whilst 54 % reported saving or sharing text documents, spreadsheets or electronic presentations. Around a third of EU cloud users saved or shared music, a quarter video files and one in seven e-books.
Many cloud services are provided free-of-charge to citizen within a certain storage limit. At EU level, only one in ten cloud users chose to use paid-for internet storage space for saving or sharing files.
Ease of accessing files from several devices or locations was a main reason for using the cloud
Amongst the reasons for using cloud services, three in five users of internet storage space identified the possibility to use files from several devices or locations (59 %) and to share files with other persons easily (59 %). Furthermore, over half of users gave protection against data loss as a reason for using the cloud (55 %). Users also valued having a larger memory space (44 %) and being able to access large libraries of music, films or TV programmes (22 %).
Over a quarter of the population using the internet but unaware of cloud services
In 2014, 55 % of the EU population used the internet but did not use internet storage space for saving or sharing files. Individuals who used the internet but were not aware of the existence of cloud services offering internet storage made up over a quarter (26 %) of the population (figure 8).
Concerns about security and privacy a main barrier to the use of cloud services
Looking at the population segment of those who used the internet and were aware of cloud services but did not use them, 44 % cited security or privacy concerns as reason for not making use of such services, 28 % mentioned concerns about the reliability of service providers and 22 % a lack of skills . The majority (64 %) saved files on their own devices or e-mail accounts.
One in ten individuals used software run over the internet for editing documents, spreadsheets or presentations
Cloud services can give users access to software for editing text, spreadsheets or presentations. In 2014, 12 % of the EU population used such software. The proportion was higher among 16-24 year olds, at 23 %, than among older age groups, with 13 % of 25-54 year olds and 4 % of 55-74 year olds reporting making use of such software .