Guest Post: NordVPN Presents Research Showing That Canada Is The 13th Most Vulnerable Country To Cybercrime

Canadians are at high risk of becoming victims of cybercrime, according to the new Cyber Risk Index by NordVPN. Canada has a high-income economy, advanced technological infrastructure, urbanization, and digitalization. However, these same factors increase the prevalence of cybercrime.

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index covers 50 countries comprising 70% of the world population. Canada ranks as the 13th most vulnerable to cybercrime out of the analyzed countries.

What increases the cyber risk in Canada

Canada has landed in the high cyber risk bracket because of significant exposure to cyber threats. “Cybercriminals don’t look for victims, they look for opportunities — much like pickpockets in crowded places,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Spend enough time riding in a packed bus, and a pickpocket will ‘accidentally’ bump into you. Same story online. Your cyber risk increases with every extra hour online.”

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index shows that 9 out of 10 Canadians use the internet and 8 out of 10 shop online. All this presents more opportunities for cybercriminals to strike. “Canadians are very active on social media, and a whopping 16% of the population play online games — that’s the 8th highest score globally,” says Daniel Markuson. 

“Finally, Canada has the densest public Wi-Fi network in the world. Hyperactive online life and infamously unsecured public hotspots is a dangerous combination. You shouldn’t ever use public Wi-Fi without an extra layer of security,” says Daniel Markuson. 

The average monthly wage in Canada is almost $1500 higher than the average. “As your income increases, it’s only natural to enjoy the comfort of online shopping and other paid services. But that makes you a much more enticing target for cybercriminals,” says Daniel Markuson.

What decreases the cyber risk in Canada

Canada has a great score (8th globally) on the Global CyberSecurity Index, which is calculated based on legal, technical, organizational, and capacity building factors on a country level. 

However, cybersecurity infrastructure has a limited impact on cybercrime. “Cyber risk management on a national level is obviously important, but it hardly makes a dent on its own. Online security has to be tackled individually. Understanding what increases the cyber risk — that time spent online and income are very important factors — is a profound step towards a safer digital life,” says Daniel Markuson.

That’s another reason why Canada isn’t higher on the most vulnerable list. Most Canadians may be active internet users, but the time they spend online is limited. According to the Cyber Risk Index, Canadians spend 30 minutes less time online than the average of 50 analyzed countries. 

The method behind the Cyber Risk Index

NordVPN created the Index in partnership with Statista, the world’s leading business data provider. The Index was created in three stages. First, Statista collected socio-economic, digital, cyber, and crime data from 50 selected countries. Second, NordVPN analyzed the data’s positive and negative impact on cyber risk and calculated the correlation between the first three data sets (socio-economic, digital, cyber) and the fourth (crime). 

Finally, NordVPN trimmed the data down to the 14 most significant factors, used them to create the Index, and ranked the 50 countries according to the cyber risk they’re facing. 

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