22nd February 2012

Norton Reveals Top Ten Riskiest Canadian Cities

nortonNorton teamed up with independent research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces to uncover Canada’s top 10 cities that have the highest number of cybercrime risk factors. This year marks the second time Norton and Sperling’s BestPlaces have collaborated to highlight the various factors that contribute to the potential risk of cybercrime.
The Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities in Canada are:

  1. Burlington, ON
  2. Port Coquitlam, BC
  3. Vancouver, BC
  4. Langley, BC
  5. Calgary, AB
  6. Fredericton, NB
  7. Toronto, ON
  8. New Westminster, BC
  9. Edmonton, AB
  10. Victoria, BC

Cities with the greatest risk factors do not necessarily correlate with the highest infection rates, reflecting the fact that many consumers are taking precautions to keep themselves safe.

“In our examination of the riskiest online cities, we’ve considered a number of factors that can potentially affect online safety,” said Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s BestPlaces and lead researcher for the analysis. “By looking at data from consumer lifestyle habits as well as cybercrime data provided by Symantec, maker of Norton products, we’re able to provide a holistic view of the various factors that put a person at potential risk.”

Sperling’s BestPlaces determined the per-capita rankings by examining several consumer behaviors – from the prevalence of PCs and smartphones, to social networking and accessing potentially unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, among others.

  • For the second time, leading “riskiest” online city, Burlington, ON., placed high in all four categories measuring cybercrime data per capita, including attempted malware infections, attempted web attacks, attempted spamming and attempted bots by city. Burlington also ranked high amongst internet use and expenditures.
  • Port Coquitlam, BC again ranked second in the analysis this time around. Port Coquitlam scored at the top in the majority of the categories surveyed, including cybercrime data per capita. Both Port Coquitlam and Vancouver (which ranked third), reported high numbers of social networking use.
  • Residents of Victoria, which came in as Canada’s tenth “riskiest” online city, ranked highest among Wi-Fi hotspots and Fredericton, which ranked sixth overall, had the highest use of social networking.
  • Other cities in the top 10 include Langley, Calgary, Toronto, New Westminster and Edmonton. According to the research, Toronto and Calgary both ranked amongst the highest for spending on personal computers. Langley, ranked above average across all categories, while Edmonton and New Westminster were the only cities that weren’t included on the 2010 top 10 list.

“This report highlights some of the factors Canadians should be considering no matter where they live,” said Lynn Hargrove, Director of Consumer Solutions, Symantec Canada. “I suggest Canadians take a good look at how they are connecting online and what security perimeters they’ve put in place – if they are not certain they are as safe as possible, it’s easy to get educated and make small changes that go a long way to protect their information.”

“This is the second time that Burlington has come out on top in this ranking. We choose to look at the positive aspects,” said Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington. “This report shows our residents are connected and are reaping the benefits of using the Internet for both personal and business needs. This is a good opportunity to look at these risk factors and remind residents – even those in other cities – to protect themselves and their information online.”

Of the Top 50 Canadian cities examined, Levis, Quebec ranked the least risky online city. Levis ranked low across all categories and had the lowest ranking for cybercrime data. Other low-ranked cities include Longueuil and Gatineau in Quebec, which placed in the 48th and 49th spots, respectively.

Top 3 Safety Tips from Norton

1. Proceed with caution when using Wi-Fi hotspots – Wi-Fi hotspots are a great resource, but make sure you’re using a secured network if conducting online purchases or banking from a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

2. Use complex and unique passwords for each site – Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers and make your passwords as random as possible. It’s also good practice to change your passwords regularly, but managing all these passwords can be tricky. Norton offers a free, cloud-enabled service that allows consumers to easily and securely store and synchronize logins, passwords, credit cards, and other Web form information across browsers and devices. ID Safe beta is available for free download.

The Complete Rankings

Municipality Province
1 1 Burlington ON
2 2 Port Coquitlam BC
3 4 Vancouver BC
4 3 Langley BC
5 5 Calgary AB
6 14 Fredericton NB
7 8 Toronto ON
8 16 New Westminster BC
9 13 Edmonton AB
10 12 Victoria BC
11 6 Oakville ON
12 10 Kitchener ON
13 9 Kelowna BC
14 7 Markham ON
15 11 Ottawa ON
16 31 Halifax NS
17 23 Barrie ON
18 28 Kingston ON
19 21 Regina SK
20 22 London ON
21 24 Saskatoon SK
22 18 Sudbury ON
23 29 St. John’s NF
24 27 Richmond BC
25 19 Winnipeg MB
26 30 Abbotsford BC
27 32 Guelph ON
28 17 Mississauga ON
29 34 Burnaby BC
30 25 Montreal QC
31 41 Hamilton ON
32 15 Thunder Bay ON
33 26 Richmond Hill ON
34 36 Surrey BC
35 35 Whitby ON
36 33 Oshawa ON
37 37 Coquitlam BC
38 20 Windsor ON
39 38 Vaughan ON
40 40 Cambridge ON
41 42 St Catharines ON
42 39 Sault Ste Marie ON
43 43 Brampton ON
44 47 Quebec QC
45 46 Trois-Rivieres QC
46 48 Sherbrooke QC
47 44 Laval QC
48 50 Longueuil QC
49 49 Gatineau QC
50 45 Levis QC
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 at 4:28 am and is filed under National News, Research Studies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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