By Troy Media

More Canadians are using the Internet, with people in Alberta and British Columbia leading the way.

A report released on Tuesday by Statistics Canada said the share of Canadians aged 15 and older who used the Internet was 91 per cent in 2018, with more seniors reporting Internet use (71 per cent). Results from the previous survey cycle indicated that 83 per cent of Canadians had used the Internet in 2012, with the proportion of seniors online at 48 per cent.

“Alberta and British Columbia (both 94 per cent) recorded the highest proportion of Internet users, while Newfoundland and Labrador (86 per cent) posted the lowest proportion,” said the federal agency. “Overall, 94 per cent of Canadians had home Internet access. Among those who did not have home Internet access, reasons included the cost of Internet service (28 per cent) and equipment (19 per cent), and the unavailability of Internet service (eight per cent).

“Nearly 84 per cent of Internet users bought goods or services online in 2018, spending $57.4 billion, up from $18.9 billion in 2012. Almost half of Canadians who used the Internet (46 per cent) reported spending more than 10 hours per week online in 2018, excluding time spent streaming content and using video gaming services.”

In 2018, 69 per cent of Internet users reported paying for or using an online video streaming subscription service, nine per cent of whom reported spending 20 hours or more per week streaming content through these services. In addition, online music streaming subscription services were used by 49 per cent of all Canadian Internet users, said StatsCan.

“At the same time, 23 per cent of Internet users chose to take a break from or decrease time spent on the Internet in the 12 months preceding the survey, and 10 per cent of Internet users reported feeling like a victim of incidents online. Most Internet users took some steps to protect their privacy in 2018: 61 per cent reported deleting their browser history, 60 per cent blocked emails (junk mail and spam), and 42 per cent changed the privacy settings on accounts or apps to limit their profile or personal information,” it said.

“In 2018, 57 per cent of Canadian Internet users reported a cyber security incident, including being redirected to fraudulent websites that asked for personal information (19 per cent) or getting a virus or other computer infection (11 per cent). More than half (53 per cent) of Internet users had an Internet-connected smart home device in their home, such as a smart television (41 per cent) or smart speaker (15 per cent). Other smart home devices that Canadian Internet users had in their homes were smart thermostats (nine per cent), video cameras connected to the Internet (nine per cent) and smart plugs or lights (five per cent). In addition, 88 per cent of Internet users reported having a smartphone for personal use, with many using it to conduct online banking activities (63 per cent) or to purchase (54 per cent) or sell (16 per cent) goods and services in the 12 months preceding the survey.”

In the 12 months preceding the survey, 30 per cent of employed Canadian Internet users reported that their employer expected them to use the Internet to stay connected outside of their regular work hours, and almost one-quarter (23 per cent) of employed Canadians reported that they had done some telework, added Statistics Canada.

© Troy Media

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