Nearly 40 per cent of people say they would be more stressed if they were unable to surf the web than if basic utilities were cut off

Losing internet connection worse than losing utilities

Workers are more concerned about losing their internet connection at home than having no heating or water, a study suggests.

Nearly 40 per cent of people believe their stress levels would be higher if they were unable to surf the web than if basic utilities were cut off or their televisions stopped working and only 4 per cent of London-based commuters said they did not need the internet at all.

The report's findings suggest Britons have become more reliant on online services than ever as the proportion of people of those questioned who claimed they could not live without an internet connection has jumped from 17 per cent last year to 27 per cent, the study found.

Claire Sellick of information security trade show Infosecurity Europe, which commissioned the study, said: "Having internet connection is part and parcel of our everyday lives, becoming more important than even heat and water at home, which does seem phenomenal but shows just how dependent we are on the internet.

"Considering that so much information now passes over the internet, both in our private and corporate lives, now more than ever it's important to consider how you access this information and how you go about protecting your most sensitive data."

The poll - of 1,000 London commuters - revealed a quarter of those surveyed said they could only last 24 hours without a home connection and that 38 per cent would prefer to lose other utilities than see their internet go down.

About 32 per cent said they would be most worried if they had no water while some 18 per cent claimed a lack of heating would cause them greatest stress.

The study was carried out in London last month in advance of this year's Infosecurity Europe event, which begins in London on April 23 and will showcase new products and services.

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