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Cybercrime – 7 Million Largely Preventable Incidents

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Not wanting to be an alarmist but I’m going to be anyway. Why? As a public service announcement, that’s why.

Seven million Canadians were victimized by cybercrime last year as chronicled by the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report. Think about that for a moment… seven million Canadians… That’s like, pushing 20% and that’s just nuts! Actually, I find it astonishing and well, kind of sad because it was sooo preventable. More on that in a minute.

Here’s some other interesting Canadian-specific statistics to come out of the report:
• $2B (CAD) lost to cybercrime last year
• Only 38% of online shoppers use a “strong” password
• 86% worry they will be a victim of cybercrime
• 11% are confident they have the whole online security thing under control
• 35% of parents worry their kids are going to screw up and expose the whole family
• 85% say they would feel devastated if their online banking and credit info was pilfered

cybercrimeHere’s where its starts to get downright silly:
• 25% of Canadians don’t have a password on ANY device
• Of those that do, 25% of them share them, and…
• 25% of them share their bank password and a full 50% share their email password!

And my personal fave…
• 61% felt it was safer to use a public bathroom than to use public Wi-Fi

Interestingly, baby boomers are the most careful in the category of age demographics. Actually, millennials (28% of them) think they are far too boring for anyone to target them for cybercrime and as such are far more likely to share passwords or engage in otherwise risky online shopping practices. Shame on them what with being born in the digital age and all. They should be setting the example for old farts like me.

So back to prevention. The best way to prevent being raped and pillaged…? Wait for it… strong password policy! Like you didn’t know THAT was coming. Followed closely by some other really simple cybercrime measures I talk about here. Yup – that’s it. Sit up straight, eat your vegetables and enact strong passwords. Minimum 8 characters with a capital, a numeral and a symbol. And you might want to mix it up across your 17,000 various online accounts. Get a nice little password keeper app – here’s a list that PC Mag rated. Most are free with a paid premium version.

Seriously. Being password-savvy isn’t that hard and if you are amongst the 85% who would feel devastated by a credit theft (and BTW – who are the 15% that wouldn’t feel devastated? Like, really?), you owe it to your sanity to get with the program. So step your game and be safe out there!