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Small businesses not too concerned with cyber crime despite increased attempts


A new study from Payments Canada has found that just over half — 58 per cent — of Canadian small businesses feel better-equipped to deal with fraud.

The study documented insights drawn from interviews with 500 Canadian small businesses with a revenue of less than $10 million.

Nearly half of those businesses interviewed (45 per cent) reported an increase in fraudulent attempts through email since the onset of the pandemic. 41 per cent said they saw an increase in attempts directed through text messages via smartphone or mobile device. Just over one-third — 36 per cent — said they noticed an increase in cyber-criminal activity directed at them through social media platforms. 34 per cent reported an increase in fraudulent attempts through online retail merchant sites, e-commerce sites or apps.

The study found that 56 per cent of the businesses surveyed said that since the onset of the pandemic, they have grown confident in their ability to recognize fraudulent attempts. A slightly higher 58 per cent reported increased awareness in how to guard themselves against payment fraud scams. While small businesses interviewed said they were concerned with cyber-crime, 56 per cent said that it did not change their payment practices. Just over two-thirds — 64 per cent — said that they trust their financial institution to protect them despite knowing the risks associated with fraud and cyber-crime.

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Payments Canada drew insights from participating businesses that were interviewed from July to August 2021 for this study. Other key findings of the study are available here.