Survey says two-thirds of Canadians victims of cyber crime

Our online worlds have very little in the way of monitoring and policing. (Photo: iStock)
Our online worlds have very little in the way of monitoring and policing. (Photo: iStock)

Much of our life is online, an almost infinite digital space. Just as young children venture from the house into the playground, new freedom and environments create new vulnerabilities and victimization. Only our online worlds have very little in the way of monitoring and policing. It is a wild west, a final frontier and those not properly protected can come across scammers intent on duping you out of your banking information.

A new survey from Accenture shows that criminals have preyed on 36 percent of those surveyed, with that number saying they’ve been a victim of cybercrime in the last three years.

Showing how incomprehensible this online wilderness can be, only 11 percent of the respondents said they had reported a cybercrime incident to authorities and 38 percent said they are not aware of how to do that.

Canadian police recently proposed the creation of a National Cyber Crime Co-ordination Centre (N3) to act as a “central clearinghouse for cyber complaints,” according to IT World Canada.

This crime wave does not affect only sweet old ladies, who open up their email and get robbed, while naively following nefarious instructions. Businesses large and small are common victims. Many of them do not report out of fear of reputational damage if they admit they are vulnerable to things like the hacking of their private data such as client information.

Small businesses often lack a “good, robust cyber security” program, writes IT World.

The federal government has earmarked $77 million to fight “bolster cyber security,” says the Toronto Star. But as cyber security is an understandable goal and people struggle to learn how to navigate our new, shared, global meeting place, some experts warn not to let the cops make their access to us as easy as our internet access.

In Canadian Lawyer Magazine Internet, technology and privacy lawyer David Fraser warned that police are interested in using every tool they can to do their job and if that involves trampling a citizen’s privacy they would still do it all the time.

Fraser says that in recent years, the Canadian government has sought to make it easier for the police to investigate but a better option than police not needing a warrant to see our digital lives, would be police adjusting their own tactics to work around the privacy of Canadians.

Any citizen can protect themselves with encryption, through apps and the ability to protect our information also makes it harder for police to catch and prosecute cyber criminals, says Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Find a Lawyer