phishingA recent CEFRIO study shows that advancing technology as well as the rise in the number of Internet users has led to increasing risk. Although Quebecers have progressively adopted necessary measures and precautions, it seems that nearly 3% of them have been victims of bank fraud or online extortion. In fact, about 145,000 adults (2.7%) have had their credit or debit card numbers or bank account information stolen, and 43,000 have been victim of a fraudulent money transfer.

As for fraud relating to personal information, about 3.4 % of Internet users have had their username or password stolen, more than half through phishing techniques. Furthermore, about 0.8 % of Internet users have been victims of personal information theft.

Security measures

In order to protect their information, the majority of Quebecers (nearly 90 %) install an antivirus, nearly 75 % configure and run a firewall and slightly more than 40 % have a parental controls (for those with children under 18 years of age). Interestingly, website access restrictions are mainly applied to social networks (31%), pornographic websites (17%) and e-commerce sites (17%).

Although the study shows that users are increasingly disclosing their personal information on the Internet, approximately 80% make sure that the site is secure and trustworthy. The same percentage of Internet users choose robust passwords that they do not disclose.

U.S. study on mobile device users

A Jumio study indicates that the majority of U.S. respondents are fearful of fraud occurring via their mobile; however, nearly half check their bank account using this device due to the convenience of this service.  In addition, nearly 25% have admitted to having been victims of online fraud.Therefore, there is an increase in the use of smartphones and tablets to conduct online transactions. These users must continue to be educated and equipped so as to be aware of the various threats and to use their mobile equipment securely, in order to reduce the risk of falling victim to fraud.

To read more about the CEFRIO and Jumio studies, please consult the following link:

To know more about information security awareness, contact Terranova Training or visit the company’s website.

By Patrick Paradis, Information Security Advisor