74% of Canadians worried about online safety: Cybersecurity poll

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According to a new international study by cybersecurity company Surfshark, 74% of Canadians feel worried for their online safety.

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And only 38% believe that internet safety has improved over the past two years.

The User Attitudes Privacy Survey 2022 also shows over two-thirds of Canadians manage their app permissions while 64% are selective about which cookies are allowed.

Like other surveyed countries, Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S., around one in three Canadians choose to sacrifice privacy of online services for their quality and convenience.

“Overall, Canadian users are very aware of the dangers that lack of online privacy poses and many are concerned they may be targeted by cybercriminals personally,” said Povilas Junas, Surfshark’s research project manager, in a statement.

“The worry could grow even further considering the cyberwarfare risks that are heightened due to the current war in Ukraine. Maintaining proper cyber hygiene and staying vigilant is extremely important at this difficult time.”

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According to Surfshark Alert breach detection mechanism, one in three internet users in Canada has experienced data breaches in 2021.

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And globally there’s been an 800% increase in cyberattacks over the past weeks.

“Now it’s important to treat any suspicious activity much more seriously, especially phishing attempts,” said Aleksandr Valentij, Surfshark’s Chief Information Security Officer, in a statement.

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“Although the risks are elevated, there are basic ways to protect yourself online. Don’t download files from unknown or unsecured HTTP pages, keep all your software up to date, make backups in case of ‘wiper’ types of attacks and use antivirus, VPN and firewall solutions whenever possible.”

The study surveyed 1,925 people, made up of an equal number from Australia, Canada, Germany, the U.K., and the US with 49% male, 51% male, and 16-24 year-olds making up the largest group (21%) while 65+ was the smallest (11%).

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