Canadians Are Comfortable Online, But Some Worries Remain

Seven-in-ten have received “scam” emails, and almost two thirds are concerned about someone hacking their devices.

Vancouver, BC [June 11, 2019] – While a large proportion of Canadians have embraced the Internet for banking and shopping, there are still lingering concerns about identity theft, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 87% of Canadians say they are comfortable accessing banking information online, and 86% feel the same way about shopping for goods and services online.

Just over four-in-five Canadians (82%) say they are comfortable commenting on online forums that require their email address, and 73% are comfortable making a charitable donation online.

“As expected, younger residents are less likely to have qualms about performing specific tasks on the Internet,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “However, more than a third of Canadians aged 55 and over say they are not comfortable making charitable donations online.”

Over the past couple of months, 64% of Canadians have worried about somebody hacking into their own computer or smartphone. 

More than seven-in-ten Canadians have been concerned recently about computers and technology being used to invade their privacy (71%) and having their personal information stolen over the Internet (72%).

British Columbians (79%), Women (77%) and Canadians aged 18-to-34 (74%) are more likely to say they have worried about having their personal information stolen online.

Across the country, 72% of Canadians say they have received an email—sometimes referred to as the “Nigerian Scam”—offering them money for assistance or help, and 62% have received a “phishing” email, where somebody tried to acquire information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.

One-in-five Canadians (20%) say their email address has been hacked at some point, and 4% say hackers took control of their social media platform.

Two-in-five Canadians (39%) say their computer became infected with a virus while they were browsing the Internet. Men are more likely to have acquired a virus online than women (44% to 34%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from May 31 to June 3, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.