BIoT Canada

86% of Canadians feel online crime a significant concern

November 24, 2015  

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Norton by Symantec has released its findings from the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, which sheds light on the truths of online crime and the personal effect it has on consumers.

The report found that globally 62% of consumers believe it’s more likely their credit card information will be stolen online compared to only 38% who think it’s more likely they will lose credit card information from their wallets. Additionally, 47 % reported they have been affected by cybercrime. In Canada:

  • More than 7 million people have been victims of online crime in the past year
  • Seven in 10 believe identity theft is more likely than ever before
  • More than half of parents believe online bullying is more likely than physical bullying at school

“Consumer confidence was rocked in 2014 by an unprecedented number of mega breaches that exposed the identities of millions of people who were simply making routine purchases from well-known retailers,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton by Symantec. “Our findings demonstrate the headlines rattled people’s trust in mobile and online activity, but the threat of cybercrime hasn’t led to widespread adoption of simple protection measures people should take to safeguard their devices and information online.”

Who tops the list of those most aware of online security practices in Canada? Baby Boomers — a group often considered less tech-savvy — report more secure online habits than Millennials. While Millennials, born in the digital era, often throw caution to the wind with 35 % of Canadian respondents admitting to sharing passwords and other risky online behaviour.

Across the 17 countries surveyed, consumers lost an average of 21 hours over the past year dealing with the fallout of online crime and nearly $358 per person — totaling roughly $150 billion. On top of this loss, cybercrime takes a true emotional toll with 40% of cybercrime victims in Canada reporting feeling furious after becoming affected by cybercrime.

Further, in Canada:

  • 85 % of respondents said they’d feel devastated if their personal financial information was compromised
  • Seven in 10 consumers would rather cancel dinner plans with a best friend than have to cancel their debit or credit card due to cybercrime
  • 60 % would rather go on a bad date than have to deal with customer service after a security breach


Despite concern and awareness of cybercrime, consumers are overconfident in their online security behaviours. When asked to grade their security practices, they consistently award themselves a solid “A.” But in reality, most are not passing the most basic requirement of online security: password use.

  • More than one in four Canadians do not have a password on any device
    • Of those using passwords, one quarter (24 %) have shared them
  • Canadians are sharing passwords to sensitive accounts. Of those sharing passwords, more than one quarter shared the password to their banking account, and more than half (52 %) shared their email password.
  • Ironically, seven in 10 believe it is riskier to share their email password with a friend than lend them their car, yet half of those sharing passwords do just that.

To learn more about the real impact of cybercrime and how consumers can protect their digital information, go here for more information.


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