A new study released by Ipsos Reid examining Online Privacy and Security has found that 34% of online Canadians are ‘very concerned’ with their Online Security, a decline of 13% from 2003.

However, those online Canadians who state that they are ‘somewhat concerned’ increased by 11%. The overall level of concern (80%) remains consistent with 2003.

Study author Mark Laver notes that “a shift in attitudes has occurred in the last six years with respect to online security. As more Canadians bank online, pay bills and purchase products and services online users clearly see the Internet as being more secure. As such, their corresponding level of concern has declined.”

Online Canadians aged 35 or older are significantly more likely to be concerned with online security (82%). In comparison, only 72% of those aged 18 to 34 state that they are concerned. Across the country, Ontarians are least likely to be concerned (76% vs. 80% to 88% for other provinces/regions). Concern also declines as household income increases.

“These findings also reflect changes in societal norms,” continues Laver. “Many people can find information about themselves online by using search engines, or because they have created profiles at popular social networking sites. Online Canadians may be becoming used to the fact that there is all this information about them online.”