Visa survey reveals many small businesses believe they are too small to attract fraudsters

    Fraud Prevention Month activities highlight importance of data security
    for small businesses in Canada

    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - A survey of Canadian small businesses released
today by Visa reveals that 41 per cent of respondents believe that 'data
thieves and hackers' are not interested in targeting their businesses because
of their size. As part of its annual Fraud Prevention Month activities, Visa
is hosting free fraud prevention seminars in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg and
Calgary that will emphasize the importance of data security for small
    "Regardless of the size of the enterprise, it's important for business
owners to appreciate the importance of data security and what steps they
should take to protect their customers and business," says Gord Jamieson, Head
of Payment System Risk, Visa Canada. "The information sessions will provide a
great deal of information and an opportunity for small business owners and
managers to ask questions."
    The Ipsos Reid survey, which was commissioned by Visa Canada, surveyed
885 small business owners about their data storage and security practices.
Thirty-nine per cent of respondents describe securing customer information as
a vital part of their business and 94 per cent believe that securing data is
important to their customers. Of the 60 per cent of respondents that do keep
electronic files with customer information, 86 per cent noted that they either
encrypt the data (8%), ensure that it is password protected (39%) or ensure
that the information is both encrypted and password protected (39%).
    While the majority of respondents claim to appreciate the importance of
data security to their business and customers, more than half (52%) have never
sought information about how to properly secure electronic information and 24
per cent do not know where to get information about how to better secure
information for their business.
    "Preventing fraud is a shared responsibility," says Jamieson. "By
offering information to small businesses during Fraud Prevention Month, we can
help them better protect themselves against data thieves."
    The Visa Canada workshops will help educate small businesses about how to
better protect themselves from fraudsters. Sessions will include information
on how to properly process a credit card transaction, tips on how to protect
credit card information and to ensure that their payment application is
secure, chip and PIN technology, and an overview of the Visa Account
Information program. More information and free registration is available
online at
    In addition, through its participation in the Fraud Prevention Forum,
Visa works closely with government and law enforcement to provide educational
materials to all Canadians to help them "recognize, report and stop" fraud.
Educational materials for consumers and merchants on fraud prevention can be
found on

    About the Survey

    The online survey was conducted between February 2 and 9, 2009, by Ipsos
Reid. A total of 885 small and medium sized business owners who employ 1-250
employees and accept credit or debit cards were surveyed.
    An unweighted probability sample of this size, with 100 per cent response
rate, would have an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20. Margin of error for subgroups will be larger.

    About Visa

    Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network
providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes
consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered
under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys
unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's
largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more
than 170 countries. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Sarah Van Lange, Fleishman Hillard, (416)
645-8173,; Carla Morin, Visa Canada, (416)

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