A quarter of the nation are clueless when it comes to ‘the cloud’ and have no idea how ‘cloud storage’ works

Millions of Brits are clueless about tech – and many don’t know the difference between an upload and a download, it has emerged.

Researchers found a quarter of the nation are clueless when it comes to ‘the cloud’ and have no idea how ‘cloud storage’ works.

Even the meaning of common tech acronyms, such as USB and Wi-Fi, are dividing the nation – both young and old.

Less than half of Brits know that USB stands for ‘Universal Serial Bus’, with nearly a quarter thinking the popular term stands for ‘Universal System Block’ or ‘Uniform Standard Block’.

Three quarters of the nation also mistakenly believe that Wi-Fi stands for something, when in fact, the creators of the term have admitted it is simply a catchy phrase and doesn’t in fact stand for anything.

Other confusing terms include ‘updating your story’, with a fifth of the nation using the phrase when talking about updating a CV.

The poll of 2,000 adults by the UK’s largest electrical retailer, Currys PC World, revealed two thirds of the nation admitted their tech knowledge is average at best.

With 42 per cent confessing they feel current technology is too complicated.

This is despite the high percentage of Brits using devices on a regular basis, with eight in 10 adults using a smartphone and nearly two thirds using a laptop daily.

Part of the problem is also outdated tech, with Brits listing the top tech bugbears are that their laptops or computers are too slow, too old or they don’t have enough memory.

With hundreds of brand new laptops ready to go online or in-store, Currys PC World are committed to making new technology understandable for young and old alike by offering them the easy option to trade in their old annoying machines in favour of a new, smart and reliable computer.

Six in 10 respondents also say they feel frustrated when they can’t make their computer do what they want it to, with others experiencing feelings of anger and inadequacy.

Whilst nearly four in 10 adults feel that they can rely on their children to help with any technical issues, it appears that young Brits might know less than they think.

Adults across the UK are more likely to understand widely-used terms such as ‘Firewall’, ‘Modem’ and ‘Download’ compared to today’s youth.

However, nearly one in 10 of over 55’s who took part in the OnePoll.com study were more likely to believe that a filter is used to make coffee, rather than to change the way a photograph looks.

Whilst they may not be as familiar with more traditional terms as their older counterparts, young people have proven they have a strong grasp of modern day tech slang, with words like ‘sliding into your DMs’ and ‘boomerang’ up to nine times more likely to be used in their vocabulary.

Georgina Bramall, Head of Brand & Advertising at Dixons Carphone, said: “With technology advancing at a rapid pace, it can feel a little overwhelming at times and it can be easy to feel out of your depth.

“However, it’s not always just the buzzwords and jargon that can make us feel left behind. Sometimes it’s the tech we use that’s old and outdated, which further compounds the problem.”

She added: “Our findings prove that getting it right with your set-up is now more important than ever – two thirds of the country use a laptop daily, yet nearly a third of consumers say their tech is too slow, which can cause all kinds of problems.

“At Currys PC World, we offer the easiest option to get a new computer: trade in your old, clunky, sticker-covered laptop at your local Currys PC World and you can earn at least £50 off your new laptop and walk out ready to work.”

  • Mat is a writer with an interest in public opinion research. He has a passion for stories covering lifestyle, travel and technology.

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