October 22, 2019

Self-reported Internet victimization in Canada, 2009

Self-reported Internet victimization in Canada, 2009

Most Canadians use the Internet regularly (Middleton 2010). According to results from the 2010 Canadian Internet Use Survey, 8 out of 10 Canadian households had access to the Internet (Statistics Canada 2011).1 However, the advent of new information technologies is also creating new opportunities for crime and new risks of victimization (RCMP 2011; Public Safety 2011). In recent years, governments and institutions, as well as users, have identified the need to address the risk of victimization on the Internet (Kowalski 2002). However, to date, it remains difficult to measure the nature and extent of the issue. While police records provide some information, self-reported data show that only a small proportion of victimizations are reported to authorities (Perreault and Brennan 2010).

In 2009, the General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization was conducted on a sample of Canadians aged 15 years and older living in the provinces. For the first time, the GSS collected information from Canadians about their perceptions and experiences of victimization on the Internet, with a particular focus on cyber-bullying, Internet bank fraud and problems encountered with making online purchases (see Text box 1).

Drawing on the GSS data, this Juristat article2 presents information on Internet victimization as self-reported by Canadians. In particular, it examines the socio-demographic and economic characteristics (such as age, level of education and income status) and Internet use characteristics of those who have been victimized. This article also examines security concerns of Canadian Internet users as well as hate content found on the Internet.

Source: Statistics Canada