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It’s well-known that reliance on the internet spiked during the COVID 19 lockdown. People turned to the internet for entertainment, shopping, school and work. It became even more critical than ever before.

The good news, highlighted in the CIRA report, is that nine in ten Canadians have access to broadband. The satisfaction rate sits at 81 per cent. Median download speeds even increased in 2020, jumping to 22.58Mbps in urban areas, and 8.16Mbps in rural areas.

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To stay informed, 54 per cent of Canadians directly visit news specific news sites. Nearly 50 per cent also actively seek information on Google, and 36 per cent look to Facebook for news. Despite being used by seven in ten Canadians, 41 per cent of Canadians named Facebook as the worst social media platform to use, and 38 per cent as the most addictive. In contrast, YouTube is the most helpful social media platform, with 20 per cent of Canadians saying so.

36 per cent of Canadians still refer to Facebook as a source of news.

The burden of IT has arrived on the doorsteps of family and friends. But although people are spending more time in front of their computers–15 per cent spend more than 8 hours per day online– impromptu tech support remained at the same prevalence as the year prior. With 44 per cent of Canadians reporting that they performed unofficial tech support, the number did not increase significantly.

And despite phishing attacks that capitalize on the fear of panic of COVID-19, worries over cybersecurity has dropped. In 2020, three-quarters of Canadians say they’re concerned about malware on the internet versus 80 per cent in the year prior. Out of the respondents, 27 per cent say they’d been the victim of a successful cyberattack in 2020.

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