Nearly one third of internet users in European Union caught a computer virus last year, according to recently released figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The highest shares of internet users who caught a virus or other computer infection were found in Bulgaria (58%), Malta (50%), Slovakia (47%), Hungary (46%) and Italy (45%), and the lowest in Austria (14%), Ireland (15%), Finland (20%) and Germany (22%).

The data presented in this News Release have been collected from the survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU27, mainly carried out in the second quarter of 2010.

Among the individuals in the EU27 who used the internet in the last 12 months, 4% reported that they suffered from an abuse of personal information sent on the internet and/or other privacy violations4 in this period, 3% of internet users suffered financial loss due to phishing or pharming attacks or fraudulent payment card use and a large majority of individuals (84%) who used the internet in the last 12 months stated that they used an IT security software or tool4 to protect their private computer and data, the survey said.

Only 14% of EU households with children under the age of 16 had parental controls on their computers and 5% of adults have found children using inappropriate websites, according to the survey.

Eurostat released the data on the occasion of the annual Safer Internet Day, and event co-funded by the EU which happens every February in more than 60 countries across six continents.