Canadians less concerned about identity theft: survey

A new survey suggests Canadians in general are less concerned about having their identity stolen.

The survey for Chartered Professional Accountants finds two-thirds of adults are worried about identity theft, down from 74 per cent last year.

About 72 per cent feel businesses are doing their best to protect the personal information of their customers, but nearly three-quarters say they're concerned that Canadian companies are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Roughly two-in-five respondents say they fear someone has personal information about them that they should not have, up from 35 per cent last year.

The survey finds that 71 per cent of Canadians are concerned that electronic payment methods – tapping debit and credit cards or using smartphone apps – makes fraud easier, and 43 per cent feel uncomfortable with making online purchases.

One-third of respondents say they've been a victim of financial fraud at some point in their life, with credit card and debit card fraud being the top two forms of fraud cited in 2016.

Cairine Wilson of CPA Canada says being skeptical is a good thing when it comes to protecting yourself, and the best thing consumers can do is keep their guard up at all times.

The 2017 CPA Canada Fraud Survey was conducted by Harris Poll via telephone between Jan. 31 and Feb. 8 with a national random sample of 1,001 adult Canadians aged 18 years and over and is considered accurate to within ±3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.