TELUS and Public Safety Canada come together to help Canadians protect personal information on their mobile devices
Instances of cybercrime among Canadian smartphone users have grown exponentially in recent years, doubling from 16 per cent in 2012 to 32 per cent in 2013. In a joint effort to thwart cybercrime and protect Canadians, TELUS and Public Safety Canada have launched the #BeAppSafe campaign to inform, educate and inspire action among Canadians to secure the personal information they store on their mobile devices.
“Public Safety Canada is dedicated to tackling cyber threats through our awareness initiative, Get Cyber Safe,” said the Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “We’re pleased to collaborate with TELUS on the #BeAppSafe campaign to amplify our efforts and encourage Canadians to take steps to better protect themselves and their families.”
Canadians’ personal and professional lives are increasingly dependent on their smartphones. In fact, 54 per cent of Canadians say they value the information on their smartphone more than the device itself. Increasingly, people use their mobile phones for services and experiences like online banking, fitness tracking, social platforms and gaming, yet more than half of Canadians are unaware that apps like these can track information such as their physical location.
TELUS and Public Safety Canada want Canadians to take control of the information their apps have access to in order to help reduce the risk of cyber criminals accessing personal data, misusing photos, spamming friends or family, tracking their location, or even stealing their identity.
“At TELUS, we understand how critically important apps are to the mobile experience. They can be incredibly useful and entertaining, but they may also open users up to data insecurity or theft,” said Michael Sangster, vice-president, Federal Government Relations, TELUS. “Through our work with Public Safety Canada and TELUS WISE we are committed to educating Canadians and their families about Internet and smartphone safety. Together we can make a significant impact by reaching out to the 28 million[iv]Canadians who rely on their mobile devices every day.”
TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education) is the first program of its kind in Canada to focus on providing free Internet and smartphone safety education for Canadians and their families. Since its inception in 2013, TELUS has educated more than 500,000 Canadians on how to stay safe online through TELUS WISE. Get Cyber Safe is Public Safety Canada’s national awareness campaign created to raise awareness about Internet security and the simple steps Canadians can take to protect themselves online.
The #BeAppSafe campaign is an extension of the ongoing work both Public Safety Canada and TELUS have already undertaken. Together they have developed #BeAppSafe resources to equip Canadians with the tools they need to effectively manage the app settings on their mobile devices. A series of practical and easy tips, such as turning off tracking apps, setting strong passwords and staying on top of permissions and privacy, is available atwww.telus.com/wise.