Canadian Security Magazine

Majority of Canadians have been victim of cybercrime: report

By CS Staff   

News Data Security Cybersecure Policy Exchange (CPX) cybersecurity editors pick rbc Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst

The report sheds light on Canadians' online experiences and their priorities related to cybersecurity and digital privacy

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TORONTO — The Cybersecure Policy Exchange (CPX), powered by RBC, launched a report on July 9 setting out a policy agenda that sheds light on Canadians’ online experiences and their priorities related to cybersecurity and digital privacy.

“We live and work in a time of unprecedented technology development and adoption further accelerated by events like COVID-19,” said Charles Finlay, executive director of Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, in a prepared statement. “We need urgent national policies that protect our security and digital privacy, while ensuring equal access for all. That is why we developed CPX–to be a platform for debating and advancing cybersecurity policy that is of critical importance to all Canadians.”

CPX undertook a survey of Canadians; key findings from the report “Advancing a Cybersecure Canada” include:

  • 57% of Canadians reported being the victim of a cybercrime;
  • 31% unintentionally installed or downloaded a computer virus or malware;
  • 28% experienced a data breach that exposed personal information; and
  • 22% had an online account hacked;
  • 13% have been a victim of phishing; and
  • 8% have unintentionally installed or downloaded ransomware.
  • Since the start of COVID-19, Canadians have adopted new technologies to stay connected making them more vulnerable to security risks. 55% of Canadians have used Facebook Messenger and 46% have used Zoom.
  • Only 26% of Canadians with a smart speaker or voice-operated assistant have restricted the information it can access through its settings.

CPX will focus its work on three high-impact technologies:

  • Social Media Platforms: Online platforms that enable users to connect and share user-generated content. Only 15% of Canadians trust Facebook to keep their data secure, compared to 62% who trust the federal government and 73% who trust health care providers.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): Physical networked devices connected to the Internet, from consumer electronics, to larger industrial and infrastructure applications. 68% of Canadians have at least one smart device in their home.
  • Biometrics and Facial Recognition: Technologies that measure and analyze a person’s physical or behavioural attributes to recognize or confirm identities, such as facial recognition. 41% of Canadians are uncomfortable with being captured by video doorbells like Amazon’s Ring, and 15% support a ban on these products.

“Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the most important issues of our time,” said Laurie Pezzente, senior vice-president of global cyber security and chief security officer at RBC, in a statement. “Questions of privacy and security are paramount for all Canadians and policymakers, and proper governance of these issues will ultimately contribute to a more prosperous and equitable world.”

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