Canadians are spending more of their time online than ever before. From using gaming applications, browsing social media, and chatting with friends and family members on multiple platforms, many of our daily activities involve exchanging sensitive information that might be vulnerable to fraudsters.
With so many access points, it’s easy to see how Canadians are exhausted by fraud attempts.
Recently, Interac surveyed 1,700 Canadian adults to gauge public perceptions around fraud. The results made two things clear: First, Canadians are facing “fraud fatigue” – and many believe the problem is getting worse.
The survey showed that more than eight in 10 Canadians are tired of receiving fraud attempts, which occur with alarming regularity – at least once a week for more than half of Canadians. Nearly half of adults say their information is more at risk now than it was before the pandemic. And second, they’re still not sure what to do about the problem. This uncertainty brings the risk of identity theft and other serious consequences.
While the industry has a role to play in delivering solutions to improve the safety of Canadians and their data, the survey uncovered the need to empower the public with the tools and education they need to protect themselves. As digital shifts take hold and the fight against fraud escalates, Canadians can take action to protect their security online.
The research also revealed that, in our increasingly digital world, many Canadians have behaved in ways that may make them more vulnerable to cybercriminals such as providing personal information through social media posts, gaming or entertainment apps, online marketplaces, or email that can be collected and used by fraudsters in scams.
Despite this, there are positive signs that Canadians will take steps to fight identity fraud and other scams — if they have the education and tools, and they’re clear on what to do. Below are a few tips Canadians can use to help increase their digital security and protect against fraud:
- Stay savvy on social media: do not share identifying details such as home address or license plate number in social media posts. Nearly one in four Canadians (23 per cent) are not scrutinizing the personal information they post on social media.
- Layer security: adopt multi-factor authentication where possible and review statements for fraud. Eight in 10 Canadians (81 per cent) are reviewing their bank statements for instances of fraud and two-thirds (66 per cent) are opting to use multi-factor authentication when available.
- Check your passwords: use multiple, complex passwords across often-used websites. Nearly three in 10 Canadians (27 per cent) continue to use the same, simple passwords across multiple websites.
Interac’s recent research underlines the importance of good digital hygiene to protect against fraud. As the world experiences more and more of a digital shift and the fight remains top of mind, the steps above, can help protect Canadians against fraud attempts.
In addition to these tips, Interac’s Digital Check-up tool is available to Canadians to help counter fraud fatigue. It encourages digital self-care and helps consumers to keep a close eye on the strength of their data security, harnessing the advice of industry experts.
Rachel Jolicoeur is the Director of Fraud Mitigation & Strategy at Interac.
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