When it comes to protecting ourselves online, Canadians are not the most savvy bunch in the world – in fact, we commit a lot of cardinal security sins, like sharing passwords, connecting to unsecured WiFi, and so on.

Worse, that behaviour extends into the office, where Canadians will often use work PCs to access public WiFi, or use their home PCs to get their work done – which can be a problem if those home PCs don’t have any security software installed.

In a new survey released this month by Norton by Symantec, researchers polled 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over. About 30 per cent of respondents said they bring their work home with them, and they’ll use their own PCs to do it.

At the same time, about 30 per cent of Canadians polled said they haven’t installed any security software on their devices. (It’d be interesting to see how many of the respondents who take their work home, also have not put any security software in place, but Norton hasn’t shared those numbers).

Another two-thirds of Canadians have logged onto public WiFi in the last month – even while knowing public WiFi often doesn’t offer any security and they can be hacked.

Consumers have been notorious for poor password hygiene for some time now, and Canadian consumers are no different. Twenty per cent of the respondents polled in this survey have shared their work and banking passwords, while 25 per cent have shared their personal email password – which is where people tend to direct emails for resetting passwords, making it a critical piece of data to keep private.

So while bringing work home, giving your spouse your password, and using public WiFi may be convenient options, it’s key for consumers to know the risks – and to secure themselves as much as they can.

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  • mizmite6

    The big ad for norton, useless program. avira is free and works better.

  • Rory Bellows

    I like the fact that someone finally speaks out about sharing passwords with “lovers”. The most risky thing you can do. It’s only when the love goes sour and you realize someone has access to every personal detail of your life that you know you made a rather big oops. The maliciousness of both sex’s in a separation are at times one of the biggest risks in I.T in my opinion. Furthermore, cyber crime will not end until people protect all online equipment. Users who repeatedly fail to secure their networks and infrastructure cost others millions and should eventually face fines for their non-compliance.