TD survey finds nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Canadian Millennials feel at risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime



With more than nine in ten Canadian Millennials owning a smartphone1 (94%), this generation may be the most smartphone-savvy, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing everything they can to minimize their fraud risk when it comes to their mobile devices.


According to a new survey conducted by Environics Research for TD, nearly three-quarters of Canadian Millennials say they feel at risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime. And risks to mobile phones, especially smartphones, are becoming increasingly common.2 As fraudsters become more sophisticated – and can easily reach Canadians anytime, anywhere – it is critical that both consumers and financial institutions work together to fight fraud.


“Our mobile devices are deeply integrated into our day-to-day lives,” said Aaron Clark, Vice President, Everyday Banking, TD Bank Group. “We expect to be able to do anything with our phones – whether we’re checking our bank accounts, finding directions or updating our social media feeds. But that level of trust in our devices can mean putting yourself at risk for fraud – especially if you misplace or lose your device, and it ends up in the wrong hands.”


With mobile devices capable of holding an abundance of personal data, Millennials are particularly vulnerable to fraud if they do not apply simple, but critical, measures to protect their devices. TD’s survey found nearly one-quarter (23%) of Canadian Millennials are not using the screen lock password feature on their device.


A similar concern arises when it comes to passwords. The survey revealed that two-thirds (67%) of Millennials will use the same password, or a slightly different version of that password, such as adding a number to a letter-based password. At the same time, one in five Millennials (19%) will keep a list of passwords stored on their device.


“Our devices make it easy for us to store personal information, so it can be easily accessed at any time. But that easy access puts young Canadians at risk if they aren’t protecting those devices,” said Tammy McKinnon, Head of Financial Crimes and Fraud Management Group, TD Bank Group. “While we have various security controls in place to protect customer accounts and our systems, customers are the first line of defense against fraud and play a vital role in protecting their confidential banking information.”


For Millennials looking to protect themselves and avoid falling victim to fraud, TD is offering the following tips and advice:


Password protection power. Think of your password as a guard that stands between your personal information and potential online risks. Use different user ID/password combinations for different accounts and avoid writing them down. Make the passwords more complicated by combining letters, numbers and special characters (minimum 10 characters in total), and change them on a regular basis. When you create passwords with combinations of letters and numbers that are unique for every one of your online accounts, you’ll make it more difficult to unlock your identity – helping to keep your information safe and secure.


Mobile device must-do’s. Be aware that your mobile device is vulnerable to fraudsters if left unlocked. All mobile phones can be locked by a screen lock password. It’s a basic way to protect your personal information if your phone is ever lost or stolen.3 Enable auto-lock so your mobile device locks after a short period of inactivity. If you lose your device and it is unprotected, notify your financial institution immediately and change your banking passwords.


Alert yourself to fraud. If your device was lost, but then recovered or replaced, be aware that your banking information may have been compromised. Be alert to any suspicious activity by having your bank notify you of potential fraud. For example, TD Fraud Alerts are texts that notify a customer if TD detects suspicious activity made with their TD Access Card on their personal banking accounts, or possible suspicious transactions made with their TD Credit Card. The customer can reply to the alert with a simple “Y” or “N” to confirm whether they recognize the transaction, and TD will unblock or block their TD Access Card or TD Credit Card accordingly, based on the response. TD will never ask a customer to reply to a Fraud Alert text with any personal information or ask customers to click on any links in their reply.


Check your statements and online accounts. If you lose your device and it is unprotected, be sure to notify your financial institution and review your banking information online. This will provide the quickest alerts to any fraudulent transactions, and ensure that your financial institution can take action to protect your accounts. Once your device is recovered, or you have a new one, consider using the TD MySpend app. It provides notifications of spend transactions in real-time, which in turn helps make it easy for you to recognize a fraudulent purchase quickly.


About the TD survey
TD commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online survey among a total of 1,100 adults from February 6 – 9, 2018. All respondents were 18 years of age or older, and resided in Canada.


Learn more about TD Canada Trust


Statistics Canada, November 2017

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