British Columbians Comfortable Banking and Shopping Online

More than half of the province’s residents have been targeted by “phishing” and scam emails.

Vancouver, BC [May 4, 2021] – While most British Columbians are having little trouble taking part in specific activities online, practically half are worried about the possibility of their devices being hacked, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 87% of British Columbians claim to be “very” or “moderately” comfortable shopping and accessing banking information online.

Fewer of the province’s residents express the same level of comfort when making charitable donations online (73%) or commenting on an online forum that requires their email address (54%).

More than three-in-four British Columbians are accessing banking information (88%), visiting websites or blogs (87%), looking for deals on websites (79%) and using an instant messaging service (77%) at least a few times per month.

Fewer of the province’s residents are also looking for directions and/or maps to get to a destination (69%), purchasing goods from a website (60%), posting on social media (59%), uploading pictures or videos to the Internet (50%) or using the Internet to place telephone calls (41%) at least a few times per month.

More than half of British Columbians (53%) have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” over the past couple of months about having their personal information stolen over the Internet (53%). Similar proportions of residents are concerned about computers and technology being used to invade their privacy (52%) and somebody hacking into their own computer or smartphone (49%).

Fewer than one-in-four British Columbians (23%) say they have only one email address, while 41% have two and 35% have three or more. 

Three in five British Columbians (61%) say they have received “phishing” emails, where somebody attempts to acquire personal information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. More than half (54%) received an email offering them money for their help and assistance, in what is usually referred to as the “Nigerian scam.” 

Fewer of the province’s residents acknowledge that their computer became infected with a virus while they were browsing the Internet (31%) or had their email address or social media platform hacked (15% each).

Across the province, 62% of British Columbians say they have typed their name on Google to see what has been posted about them on the Internet—including 65% of women and 72% of Vancouver Islanders.

More than half of British Columbians who Googled themselves (55%) claim that the information they found was accurate, while 13% say it was inaccurate (13%). One third (32%) did not find any information about themselves.

Results are based on an online survey conducted from April 20 to April 22, 2021, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.