72% of Canadians are more alarmed than ever about their privacy: Norton LifeLock

In today’s connected world, businesses are prime targets for cyber attacks and unintentional missteps can result in critical exposure of consumers’ sensitive personal information. According to the 2018 Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report, released today, from Norton LifeLock, a Symantec company, based on an online survey conducted by The Harris Poll of over 1,000 adults, nearly three out of four Canadians (72 per cent) are more alarmed than ever about their privacy. However, the majority accept certain risks to their online privacy in exchange for convenience (70 per cent) and are willing to sell or give away certain personal information, such as their location (57 per cent) and internet search history (53 per cent), to companies.

In the age of information sharing, control is now at the heart of society’s privacy paradox – from who should have it to what the consequences should be when it is mishandled. In fact, 97 per cent of Canadians believe it is important to require that companies give customers control of how their personal data is used, while over half (53 per cent) believe it is absolutely essential. Adequate recourse is also expected when personal information is not protected, with 56 per cent of consumers believing it is absolutely essential that companies be required to provide a way for consumers to report misuse of their personal data, or consequently be fined.

Additional Canadian findings include:

  • People view data protection as a right – not a privilege. Most Canadians are not willing to pay organizations to ensure protection of their personal information. This is true when it comes to social media providers, with 82 per cent of consumers saying they are not willing to pay providers to ensure their personal information is protected when using them, retailers (77 per cent), healthcare institutions (71 per cent) and financial institutions (69 per cent).
  • Canadians have little or no trust in social media providers. 95 per cent of Canadians express little or no trust in social media providers when it comes to managing and protecting their personal information. In fact, 1 in 5 Canadians with a social media account (20 per cent) have deleted an account in the past 12 months due to privacy concerns.
  • Despite concerns, Canadians embrace data sharing. While 87 per cent of Canadians are concerned about their privacy, many say they are willing to sell or give away certain personal data, including Internet search history (18 per cent would give away for free, 35 per cent would sell) and location (20 per cent would give away, 37 per cent would sell). Some are even willing to provide identification document information, such as driver’s license or passport information (15% would give away, 19% would sell).
  • Younger generations are not tied to their personal information. Younger generations are significantly more likely to embrace data sharing in the digital age, with more of those who are 18-53 willing to sell or give away certain personal information, such as their location (66 per cent versus 44 per cent) or internet search history (65 per cent versus 37 per cent), compared to those who are 54 and older.


What’s Next for Cyber Safety?

Over the last year alone, more than 9 million Canadians experienced cyber crime – that’s one in three Canadians (32 per cent) – and 55 per cent believe it’s likely they will experience cyber crime in the next year. As a result of cyber crime in the past year, losses totaled an estimated $1.9 billion and 35.8 million hours lost dealing with the aftermath, with more than a quarter of Canadians (28 per cent) spending a week or longer dealing with the problem.

There are several best practices consumers can follow to help safeguard against online threats:

  • Never open suspicious-looking emails: Cyber criminals send fake emails or texts that may look legitimate. The links in these emails or texts contain malicious software that can download malware and spyware. The software may be able to mine your computer for personal information, which is then sent to a remote computer where the attacker could sell the information on the dark web or use the information to commit identity theft.
  • Make use of a VPN on public Wi-Fi: Many public Wi-Fi connections are unencrypted. This could give cyber criminals a chance to snoop on data being sent and received by your device. If there are software vulnerabilities on your device, attackers can inject malware to help them gain access to your data. In some cases, attackers create fake Wi-Fi hotspots purporting to be legitimate networks.
  • Own your online presence: Carefully read the terms and conditions before opening an account or downloading an application, including social media accounts. Be sure to, set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices to your comfort level for information sharing.
  • Get two steps ahead and manage your passwords: Switch on two-step verification or multi-factor authentication wherever offered to help prevent unauthorized access to your online accounts. Always change the default passwords to something strong and unique on your devices, services, and Wi-Fi networks.

To learn more about the real impact of cyber crime and how consumers can help protect their online privacy, identity, and digital information, visit here.


About the Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report (NCSIR)

The Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report is based on an online survey of 1,026 Canadian adults (aged 18+), commissioned by Norton LifeLock and produced by The Harris Poll, an independent research firm. Data were collected in October 2018. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, race, education, region, knowledge of official languages, marital status, and employment status to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

How Norton LifeLock Defines Cyber Crime

The definition of cyber crime continues to evolve as avenues open up that allow cyber criminals to target consumers in new ways. Each year, we will evaluate current cyber crime trends and update the report’s methodology as needed, to ensure the Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report provides an accurate snapshot of the impact of cyber crime as it stands today. In the 2018 Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report, cyber crime is defined as having personally experienced a crime committed with devices over the internet, including, but not limited to, detecting unauthorized access on an online account, learning information was exposed in a data breach, and detecting malicious software on a device. Visit https://www.symantec.com/about/newsroom/press-kits/2018-norton-lifelock-cyber-safety-insights-report to learn more.

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