Symantec Survey Identifies Canada's Safest "Cyber City"

    Comprehensive study reveals that while Calgarians are conscientious,
    Vancouverites lack best practices for online security

    TORONTO, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - Staying connected, protected and secure may be
top of mind for the majority of Canadians, but when it comes to maintaining
safety on home PCs, Calgarians stampede slightly ahead of the rest. This
finding comes from a recent Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:   SYMC) survey that also
revealed 89 per cent of Canadians polled are concerned about online security
threats, while a staggering 40 per cent of those claiming to have up-to-date
security software continue to put themselves at risk by not regularly
purchasing the latest versions for their home computers.
    The survey examined the state of home PC security among seven major
Canadian cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and
Halifax. The in-depth study, conducted by Harris/Decima, was developed to gain
insight into Canadians' overall knowledge of Internet security threats and
their attitudes toward security software.
    In a very close race (all cities were above 80 per cent), Calgary led the
pack with 9 in 10 respondents (90 per cent) claiming that they have up-to-date
security software installed on their PCs, while Vancouver came in last at
85 per cent. Symantec plans to present the Mayor of Calgary with an award
acknowledging the city's designation as "Canada's Safest Cyber City".
Moreover, the company has announced plans to implement a targeted awareness
campaign in Vancouver in early 2008 to ensure Vancouverites are better
    The vast majority of respondents in all cities claimed to have up-to-date
security software installed on their PCs. However, when further questioned, it
was also revealed that an alarming four out of 10 Canadians who claim to have
up-to-date security software are not taking the necessary precautions by
acquiring the latest versions once a year, as is recommended by industry
software security providers. In fact, of the respondents who reported that
they bought a computer more than five years ago, 29 per cent stated they have
not bought newer versions of security software since purchasing their PC.
    "On the whole, the results of the survey are encouraging. It's great news
that the vast number of those surveyed are concerned about online threats and
are taking necessary precautions," said Lynn Hargrove, director, consumer
solutions, Symantec (Canada) Corp. "However, as the Internet threat landscape
continues to grow in scale and sophistication, consumers have no choice but to
be diligent and maintain a proper level of security on their home PCs. Online
fraud and identity theft cannot be left to chance. By regularly downloading
the latest free updates provided by your vendor and purchasing the latest
software versions at least once a year, Canadians can put the appropriate
safeguards in place to protect themselves and their families from potential
    Of the respondents claiming to have up-to-date software, residents in
both Calgary and Toronto topped the list with 63 per cent having purchased new
versions of security software in the past year. Montrealers, on the other
hand, are not as conscientious, with only 54 per cent having bought updated
versions in the past 12 months.

    Victim Snapshot

    According to the survey, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of city dwellers
have fallen victim (or know someone who has fallen victim) to online fraud or
identity theft. At 32 per cent, Vancouver ranks the highest in this category.
Interestingly, the city also has the least number of residents who have
up-to-date security software. Additionally, the survey revealed that
respondents between 18 and 49 are more likely to have experienced online fraud
or identity theft compared to respondents 50 plus (27 per cent vs. 20 per

    The ABCs of Internet Security Threats

    After probing Canadians' familiarity with online security threats, the
survey revealed that spam (99 per cent) is the most recognizable threat,
followed closely by worms (94 per cent), Trojans (86 per cent) and phishing
(78 per cent). However, botnets, which are a growing threat around the world,
are less well-known, with only about a quarter (24 per cent) having heard of
the new menace. A type of malicious software, bots allow an attacker to take
control of multiple computers to spread viruses, generate spam and commit
other types of online crime and fraud.
    According to Hargrove, Canadian households need to regularly install and
update their home PC security software with complete all-in-one solutions such
as Symantec's Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security 2008 - which now include
free downloadable product updates for one year in order to ensure up-to-date
protection. With key technologies such as antispyware, antivirus, antispam,
advanced phishing protection, transaction security and intrusion prevention,
the Norton suite of products remove viruses and Internet worms automatically,
protect against hackers and block identity theft from phishing Web sites.

    Regional and Gender Survey Highlights:

    -   Montrealers (85 per cent) are the least concerned about home PC
        safety, while Torontonians (94 per cent) are the most concerned

    -   The city least familiar with botnets was Montreal (20 per cent),
        followed closely by Winnipeg (21 per cent) and Calgary (23 per cent).
        Residents of Ottawa (29 per cent), Vancouver (28 per cent), Toronto
        and Halifax (both 25 per cent) are most familiar with this online

    -   There are few differences between men and women in terms of who has
        been targeted for online fraud or identity theft. However, more women
        than men (25 per cent vs. 20 per cent) are unsure or unconvinced that
        they have fallen victim or know someone who has fallen victim to
        fraud or identity theft

    -   When it comes to having up-to-date security software, Montreal men
        are more diligent than their female counterparts (91 per cent vs. 81
        per cent)

    -   Of the cities surveyed, men in Halifax outpace all other male
        respondents in purchasing the latest security software once a year
        (66 per cent)

    About Symantec

    Symantec is a global leader in infrastructure software, enabling
businesses and consumers to have confidence in a connected world. The company
helps customers protect their infrastructure, information and interactions by
delivering software and services that address risks to security, availability,
compliance and performance. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has
operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at Symantec's Canadian operations are headquartered in Toronto
with offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. For more information
on Symantec products or current promotions, access Symantec's Canadian Web
site at Symantec is an active member of the Business Software
Alliance (BSA).

    About the Survey

    A total of 2,536 respondents, aged 18 years or older, completed the
survey, and data collection was conducted from September 24 to October 3, 2007
through CAWI, using Harris/Decima's proprietary online panel. Seven cities
(Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax) were
targeted for this study, and quotas were set at 350 completes per city. With a
pure probability sample of 2,536, one could say with a 95 per cent probability
that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-2.0 percentage points.
However, this does not take other sources of error into account.

    NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information on Symantec
Corporation and its products, please visit the Symantec News Room at All prices noted are in U.S. dollars and are
valid only in the United States.
    Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other
names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For further information:

For further information: Nini Krishnappa, Symantec (Canada) Corp., (416)
774-0147,; Christine Leonard, Maverick Public
Relations, (416) 640-5525 ext. 236,

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