By considering numerous affects that affect online user safety, Burlington was identified as the most dangerous city in Canada for cybercrime, followed by three British Columbia cities—Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, and Langley. Rounding out the top five are Calgary and Fredericton, with Toronto, Edmonton, and Victoria all squeezing into the top 10.
"In our examination of the riskiest online cities, we've considered a number of factors that can potentially affect online safety," said Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling's BestPlaces and lead researcher for the analysis. "By looking at data from consumer lifestyle habits as well as cybercrime data provided by Symantec, maker of Norton products, we're able to provide a holistic view of the various factors that put a person at potential risk."
"This report highlights some of the factors Canadians should be considering no matter where they live," said Lynn Hargrove, Director of Consumer Solutions, Symantec Canada. "I suggest Canadians take a good look at how they are connecting online and what security perimeters they've put in place - if they are not certain they are as safe as possible, it's easy to get educated and make small changes that go a long way to protect their information."
This isn't the first year tracking risky cities in Canada. Last year, the list of cities was very similar, with Burlington at the top, followed by Port Coquitlam and Vancouver. Categories for risk include attempted malware infections, attempted web attacks, attempted spamming and attempted bots by city.
"This is the second time that Burlington has come out on top in this ranking. We choose to look at the positive aspects," said Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington. "This report shows our residents are connected and are reaping the benefits of using the Internet for both personal and business needs. This is a good opportunity to look at these risk factors and remind residents - even those in other cities - to protect themselves and their information online."
Norton offers three simple but effective safety tips for online activity: proceed with caution when using Wi-Fi hotspots, use complex and unique passwords for each site, and stay educated.