As more and more Canadians feel they could be susceptible to identity theft, trust in businesses to properly safeguard their information is declining, according to an annual fraud survey conducted on behalf of the Chartered Professional Accounts of Canada (CPA Canada).
Specifically, 71% of Canadians surveyed said they’re concerned about identify theft, up from 66% last year. At the same time, 68% of Canadians believe businesses are doing a good job to protect their information, down from 72% last year.
Alarmingly, four in 10 Canadians surveyed said they’re concerned their personal information has already been compromised.
“In today’s ever-evolving economy, change is rapid, and the threat of fraud is constant. Canadians are strongly encouraged to be aggressive in protecting themselves against fraud,” says Doretta Thompson, director of corporate citizenship with CPA Canada, in a statement.
“[Canadians should] use trusted websites, reputable payment processors and check [their] bank or credit card statements regularly for discrepancies,” she adds. “You are your best gatekeeper when it comes to protecting your personal information.”
Smartphones, in particular, can place Canadians increasingly at risk for cybercrimes. As mobile devices hold an abundance of personal data, Canadians can be susceptible to fraud if they don’t take measures to protect their devices.
To that end, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) recently conducted a survey on millennials and fraud, discovering that 23% of Canadian millennials are not using a screen-locking password on their smartphones.
Similarly, the survey revealed that 67% of millenials who have such a password will use it, or a slightly different version, such as adding a number to a letter-based password, on other important services. Worse, one-in-five millennials keeps a list of passwords stored on their devices.
“We expect to be able to do anything with our phones — whether we’re checking our bank accounts, finding directions or updating our social media feeds,” says Aaron Clark, vice president of everyday banking with TD, in a statement. “But that level of trust in our devices can mean putting yourself at risk for fraud — especially if you misplace or lose your device and it ends up in the wrong hands.”