Today, a majority of our lives are spent online. We shop, we bank, we schedule our lives. 

Our entire world is connected by the internet and the technology we use to access it. 

So how do we feel about having such personal, important information out there?

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According to Research Co., more than half of British Columbians involved in a recent poll expressed concerns about where their data could end up. 

The results of the survey, which was conducted online by 800 residents, shows that 51% of British Columbians say they, over the past few months, have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about having their personal information stolen over the internet.

51 per cent of residents have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about computers and technology being used to invade their privacy and 46% have worried about the possibility of someone hacking into their own computer or smartphone.

According to the poll findings, women are particularly concerned about their personal information falling into the wrong hands online compared to men.

When it comes to online shopping, 89% of residents are comfortable doing so and 87% are comfortable accessing bank information. 

Level of comfort drops considerably across residents when it comes to making charitable donations online, with a rating of only 73%, or 56% for commenting on an online forum that requires an email address. 

63% of poll respondents had received “phishing” emails—where somebody attempts to acquire personal information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity—and 57% had received an email offering them money for their help and assistance.

Viruses and hacking incidents remained low, however, with only 31% of people reporting their computer had been infected with a virus while browsing the internet, 16% had their social media hacked and 15% had their email address hacked.

Just this past week, it was revealed Tim Hortons used its mobile app to collect “vast amounts of location data” from users, including tracking when they visited competing coffee shops, says Canada’s privacy watchdog.

The Commissioner of Canada released the results of a 2020 investigation into the coffee and donut chain, demanding it delete any remaining location data and limit future collection. Tim Hortons, the commission says, has agreed to implement the regulations.

How do you keep yourself and your personal information safe online?

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