October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber Security Awareness Month is an internationally recognized campaign held each October to inform the public of the importance of cyber security. This campaign is focused on helping all Canadians be more secure online, by being informed and knowing the simple steps to take to protect themselves, their families, their workplace and their devices. The month is divided by themes which highlight different aspects of cyber security.



Week 1: October 1-7, 2018
Our internet; our cyber security

How Cyber Safe Are You In The Digital Age?

Canadians spend an average of six hours a day online.

What Devices Do Canadians Use To Access The Internet?

  • 94% use a laptop or desktop computer
  • 74% use smartphones
  • 58% use tablets
  • 25% use smart TVs
  • 25% use gaming systems

Canadians protect their computers from online threats, but only 50% know of the risks to their other devices.

You Can Protect All Your Devices From Cyber Threats Using:

  • Strong passwords
  • Up-to-date security software
  • Trusted sources to download content

How Do Canadians Stay Connected?

  • 83% use secure home Wi-Fi
  • 41% use cellular provider’s network
  • 32% use public Wi-Fi

If You’re Using Wi-Fi On-The-Go:

  • Use password protected Wi-Fi connections
  • Don’t connect to unknown networks
  • Turn off your Wi-Fi when not in use

What Are Canadians Doing Online?

  • 98% checking email
  • 85% banking online
  • 83% reading news/watching TV
  • 80% using social networks

Protect Yourself:

  • Do not open links or attachments that seem suspicious
  • Never ‘auto-remember’ your passwords or personal info
  • Update your privacy settings

Week 2: October 8-14, 2018
Buy Secure

The focus of week 2 is "Buy Secure". When we buy information technology products, too often we overlook the cyber security risks posed from their use. For the Canadian public, the focus will be on the importance of buying devices and apps from reputable sources. For governments and businesses, "Buy Secure" means identifying and mitigating the risk posed by the supply chain of information technology within your networks.


The risks of shopping and online auctions

As with anything you do online, any time you provide details like your email address, shipping address, phone number and credit card information, your information becomes prey for cyber criminals.

What are the risks of online shopping?

  • Becoming a victim of fake e-commerce sites. These are sites created with the sole purpose of capturing your information which can lead to identity theft and hacking. Often these sites will offer an incredible deal that's hard to pass up, and then disappear a few weeks later.
  • Becoming a victim of a scam or fraud by unscrupulous sellers who never send the item you've purchased.
  • Dealing with fraudulent escrow sites set up to capture your information.
  • Doing business on sites that aren't encrypted which can leave your information open to anyone.
  • Scams by international sites that aren't secure or don't have reputable sellers.
  • Paying more than you expected because of hidden charges, duties or shipping.
  • The item you buy may not meet Canadian Safety Standards. There are different rules for different countries.

What are the risks of online auction?

  • Becoming a victim of a scam by sellers who are not reputable.
  • Getting lured by sellers to send payment outside of legitimate services like Paypal, including sending cash, money transfers and money orders.
  • Becoming a victim of fraud including the misrepresentation of an item, the item not being sent to you or not being paid if you're the seller.
  • You might find yourself dealing with fraudulent escrow sites that take your money – and run. Legitimate escrow sites make payments on your behalf to safeguard large-ticket purchases. But criminals behind escrow scams create fake escrow sites intended to spoof -- or look identical to -- the real thing.  Before you know it, you're making a payment to a criminal out to steal your money.
  • Getting stuck by browser traps that won't allow you to click the back button, or the same window continues to pop up after closing it.

Find out how you can protect yourself against online shopping and auction scams.



Week 3: October 15-21, 2018
Our Data is Valuable

Our data — that is, everything from our personal information, to our banking information, personal photos, social media interaction, and work-related files and correspondence — is valuable.  But because it is intangible, it doesn't always feel that way. The focus of week 3 is to highlight the fact that all Canadians and businesses have data that is valuable to them which also makes it valuable to cybercriminals wishing to exploit it.


Fake News: The theme of week four is “Our critical eye and the internet,” and CSE will be hosting two Curiosity on Stage events discussing Fake News. The first, on Oct. 24, will be a panel discussion with Cyber Centre Head Scott Jones, University of Ottawa Professor Liz Dubois and Radio-Canada’s Jeff Yates. In the second event, on Oct. 27, education specialist Thierry Plante from Media Smarts will be helping children learn to spot fake news. Both events will be live-streamed by Ingenium.

For more information on these events, go here.



Week 4: October 22-28, 2018
Our critical eye and the internet

The focus of week 4 is on Digital Literacy. According to Media Smarts, Digital Literacy is more than technological know-how; it includes a wide variety of ethical, social and reflective practices that are embedded in work, learning, leisure and daily life. One component of Digital Literacy is the set of skills that help us comprehend, contextualize, and critically evaluate digital media so that we can make informed decisions about what we do and encounter online. The focus of week 4 is building that critical eye that will help Canadians make informed decisions.

You can read the Media Smarts' details here.