Only 20 percent of people in the UK are 'savvy citizens' when it comes to technology, the British Computer Society has said.

Research by the institute also revealed nearly a quarter of people feel technology has failed to improve their lives.

But it also said British people are more tech savvy in certain areas than others. Some 60 percent said they had used a comparison website, 71 percent claimed they used secure passwords where possible and three out of five were confident when it comes to video on demand on the web.

The research highlighted that 'Savvy Citizens' are most likely, but not exclusively, to be males aged between 18 and 44 that are in full-time employment and educated to degree level or above.

Savvy Citizens are also likely to own new technologies and spend more than 10 hours a week surfing the web.

"Unless all members of society are made aware of how they can access and use information in their daily lives, the significant proportion of Britons who are failing to realise the benefits of information technology will persist," said Elizabeth Sparrow, president, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

With this in mind the BCS has launched Savvycitizens.bcs.org - a website designed to help Brits become more tech savvy by signposting useful and expert sources of information and advice.

"It is vital therefore that those citizens are informed about how information technology can improve their lives. Until this is achieved large sections of society are at risk of losing out."