More than half of Canadians polled say they have been victims or targets of cybercrime, according to a new survey.
A report from Ryerson University’s Toronto Cybersecure Policy Exchange found that 57% of respondents to an online survey in May had encountered at least one cybercrime.
The results of the Pollara survey of 2,000 people were released on Thursday as part of an effort to stimulate a national debate on cybersecurity and privacy.
“We need urgent national policies that protect our digital security and privacy, while ensuring equal access for all,” said Charles Finlay, one of the report’s authors, in a statement.
Finlay, a former director of policy at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, is currently the executive director of a Ryerson center for cybersecurity innovation.
Among the five forms of cybercrime listed in the Pollara survey, the most frequently reported was harmful software such as a virus (31%) or ransomware (8%).
In addition, 28% said their personal information had been revealed by a data breach, 22% had a hacked online account and 13% had been deceived by a deceptive email or website.
According to generally accepted standards in the survey industry, online surveys cannot be given a margin of error as they do not randomly sample the population.