Chat rooms risky: Survey

Mon, August 9, 2004

FOUR OUT of five Canadians believe chat rooms and online dating are dangerous because they don't know who they are dealing with, a poll suggests. As well, 69% of respondents indicated they reject using the Internet as a way to meet people and 47% would completely rule out using the Internet to meet new friends.

Women (38%) are less likely to use the Internet to meet new people, compared with men (56%).

The Leger Marketing survey indicated 83% of women respondents did not trust chat rooms compared with 77% of men.

Canadians between 55 and 64 years old (90%), employees in sales, services or office workers (86%) and homemakers (90%) are among the most likely to distrust these web sites.


The regional breakdown for those who distrust chat rooms and online dating was Atlantic provinces 86%; Quebec 83%; Ontario, the Prairies and Alberta, all with 80%; and British Columbia, 74%.

Respondents replied to the question: "Chat rooms and online dating are dangerous, you don't know with whom you are dealing?"

Close to two out of three -- 65% -- of Canadians said they think the Internet makes it easier to meet people, although 26% disagreed and 9% did not express an opinion.


Seventy-five per cent of respondents 25 to 34 years old and manual workers (73%) said the Internet makes it easier to meet people.

The Atlantic provinces had the highest percentage of people who said the Internet helps people to meet (70%); followed by the Prairies, 68; Alberta, 67; Quebec, 66; Ontario, 64; and British Columbia 63.

The survey indicated that almost three-quarters of respondents (71%) used the Internet for personal or professional reasons in June, with Ontarians logging on the most (75%).

They were followed by British Columbians at 73%; Albertans (72%); the Atlantic provinces (70%) and the Prairies (66). Quebec had the lowest number of surfers at 63%.

The telephone survey of 1,500 Canadians, conducted between July 6 and July 11, is considered accurate within 2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.