75pc of Irish students favour Facebook as communication tool

15 Aug 2011

Three-quarters of Irish students use Facebook as their main online channel to communicate, compared to 6pc who prefer email, a survey shows.

The survey, conducted by Data Solutions for Blue Coat Systems, asked 164 Irish students about how they communicate with people online.

Eighty per cent of participants have a Facebook account, compared with 30pc who have a Twitter account and 20pc who have a Bebo account. Only one student had a LinkedIn account.

Five per cent don’t use online means to communicate, favouring text messages instead.

When asked about their future careers, 60pc of survey participants expect their employers to allow them to use their own personal laptops and smartphones for work purposes.

“You already know how your own devices work, it saves time being able to use your own as you don’t have to learn how to use new technology,” commented one participant.

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Michael O’Hara, managing director for Data Solutions, said the results showed how the line between face-to-face interactions and online communications was blurring.

“More than 85pc of the students surveyed own or have access to a laptop, and almost 40pc own a smartphone. This facilitates the trend towards ‘bringing your own device’, and every business is going to have to learn to accommodate this trend while ensuring security,” he said.

“This will bring up a whole set of new issues for employers and there will be a need to set policies and ensure that employee-owned devices don’t cause security problems for company networks in terms of data leakage.”

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