Top 10 Riskiest Online Canadian Cities

Cybercrime is a leading cause of identity fraud and a growing threat affecting many Canadians. Today, Symantec and independent research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces, published Canada’s top 10 cities most vulnerable to this lucrative form of digital crime.

While bigger cities such as Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto often top the list in crime reports, Burlington, ON, placed first in the rankings to claim the title of the Riskiest Online City. This economic hub and one of the province’s fastest growing municipalities ranked at or near the top in categories such as cybercrimes, consumer expenditures on computer hardware and software, and Internet access.

Two smaller cities in BC, Port Coquitlam and Langley, trailed just behind to claim second and third place due to high scores in cybercrimes as well.

 “This study is a real eye-opener, demonstrating that larger urban centres, such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, which have a diverse mix of high and low income communities, don’t necessarily have the same level of Internet access as do wealthier suburbs like Burlington, Oakville and Kelowna,” said Lynn Hargrove, Director, Consumer Solutions, Symantec Canada.  “Residents in areas with more access to computers, the Internet and WiFi hotspots will go online more often to shop, bank and communicate with family and friends, making them greater targets for cybercriminals.”

The following are ranked the Norton Top 10 Riskiest Online Canadian Cities:

  1. Burlington, ON                
  2. Port Coquitlam, BC         
  3. Langley, BC                    
  4. Vancouver, BC                
  5. Calgary, AB                    
  6. Oakville, ON                    
  7. Markham, ON                  
  8. Toronto, ON                    
  9. Kelowna, BC                   
  10. Kitchener, ON

The rankings were determined through a combination of Symantec Security Response’s data on cyberattacks and potential malware infections, as well as third-party data about online behavior, such as Internet accessibility and WiFi hotspots.

Both Vancouver and Toronto rank high in the consumer expenditure and WiFi hotspot categories, placing them near the top of the list as riskiest. Oakville’s residents spend more on Internet access and computer expenditures than residents of any other city in Canada, with Markham’s residents not far behind.  Calgary also has high consumer expenditures and Internet access. Kelowna and Kitchener both place high due largely to high levels of cybercrimes.