Cyber Security Today: Nov. 21, 2018 – More holiday shopping tips; how important is cyber security to Canadians?

Do you know how to shop safely online or buy secure Internet-connected devices? Here’s more tips, as well as the results of two surveys of Canadians’ worries about cyber security.

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Wednesday November 21st. I’m Howard Solomon. To hear the podcast, click on the arrow below:

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Consumers International and the Internet Society have issued tips for people buying Internet-connected devices. They say buy with the word SMART in mind – that is, Search the product you want online for reviews that point out security or privacy issues, Make strong passwords for each device, Adjust settings for maximum security and privacy, Regularly update device software and Turn off features you don’t need – like cameras, microphones and location tracking.

You can find more at

LegalShield, which sells legal-related services, has these tips: Beware of prices that are too good to be true. Also note that online scammers often set up dummy websites, auction listings or ads that offer popular items far below market value. That’s why you have to make sure you’re on the correct website when buying online. Closely check the domain name or URL in your browser. The name should start with HTTPS. When shopping online, buy from trusted retailers. If you need to set up an account to buy, use a unique and strong password. And never pay for items purchased online with wire transfers, money orders or cash.

Finally, how concerned are Canadians about cyber security? It depends what questions are asked. Security vendor ESET polled 1,000 adult Canadians in September and found 83 per cent totally or tended to agree their risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is increasing. Almost 56 per cent said cyber crime is a very important challenge to the internal security of Canada, with another 33 per cent saying its fairly important. Most either totally or tended to agree that their online personal information isn’t kept secure by websites, or by public authorities. ESET believes that the results suggest unless cybersecurity is treated as a priority by governments the number of data breaches will increase and public trust in technology will decrease.

On the other hand, the Toronto Star last week reported that online security is close to the bottom of the list of Canadians’ minds in a survey of 1,500 people on their top worries. The cost of food and utilities, health and having enough money to retire led the list, according to the poll last week by the firm Public Square Research. That doesn’t mean Canadians don’t think cyber security isn’t important – but it isn’t top of mind.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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