McAfee Canada Data Shows That The Profound Shift In Everyday Tech Highlights The New Landscape Of Personal Security

McAfee Corp. today announced findings from its 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report revealing that while the shift to a digital-first life was brought on by the global pandemic, Canadian consumers plan to keep it up – with online banking (78%), personal shopping (63%), and social engagements (59%) at the top of the list. With the increase in activities online, consumers are potentially exposed to more cyber threats. Notably, 3 out of 5 of people in Canada (60%) say they’re concerned about today’s cyber risks, with nearly half (45%) of respondents admitting that they are not confident in their ability to prevent a cyber-attack.

As consumers continue to adapt to and embrace their new digital worlds, cyber criminals are taking note and looking to take advantage. The more time consumers spend online interacting with various applications and services, the greater their exposure is potential risks (such as third-party breaches) and threats (such as phishing attacks or fraud). Further proof this is a big concern for consumers: McAfee found 67% of Canadian respondents admitted to being most concerned about their financial data being stolen and 65% were concerned that their personal information, such as birthday or address, could get hacked.

Consumer Digital-First Mindset Influenced by Shopping Habits

Consumers buying habits indicate how they are going about their new digital-first lives, with 66% of respondents saying they’ve purchased at least one connected device in 2020. However, only 42% took action by purchasing security software, and 1 in 4 admitted that they do not actually check if their security software is up to date.

Consumers are also becoming more comfortable with sharing information online which is a big risk – especially as services often ask for multiple contact points. Notably, McAfee’s report found that 70% of respondents indicated to have started using features designed for convenience in 2020, such as paperless transaction records (40%), text and email notifications (35%), and downloading web/mobile applications vs. using desktop sites (31%)

Besides not always taking the necessary security precautions, Canadian consumers admitted that they haven’t really thought about why hackers might want their data. Notably, nearly 2 in 3 Canadian respondents (61%) admitted that they never considered how much their data that is stored and available online is worth. Hackers are always looking for ways to exploit others for money, and a person’s identity is valuable and can be resold for quite a bit of money. However, 8 in 10 consumers say they would be proactive about protecting it, if that data could be traded as a currency.

Some ways consumers can protect themselves and their loved ones include:

  • Use multi-factor authentication to double check the authenticity of digital users andadd an additional layer of security to protect personal data and information.
  • Connect with caution. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connectionuse a virtual private network (VPN) like McAfee® Safe Connect to help keep you safewhile you’re online.
  • Browse with added security using a tool like McAfee WebAdvisor to block malware andphishing sites if you click on a malicious link.
  • Protect your identity and important personal information by using McAfee IdentityTheft Protection, which also helps you recover your information if your identity is compromised.

McAfee’s 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report Methodology: McAfee commissioned MSI-ACI to conduct an online questionnaire to 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in Canada between December 11-23, 2020.

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