What are cyber threats (and how do they work)

October 1, 2019

We are all vulnerable to cyber threats. Everyone, regardless of how technically-savvy they are, can become the victim of a cyber crime.

Which is why, if we want to protect ourselves, we all need to be informed about what a cyber threat is.

What are cyber threats

cyber threat is an activity intended to compromise the security of an information system by altering the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of a system or the information it contains.

In practice, that means criminals and other malicious cyber threat actors — many of which operate outside our borders — taking advantage of security gaps, low cyber security awareness, and technological developments in an effort to compromise cyber systems.

They steal personal and financial information, intellectual property, and trade secrets. They disrupt and sometimes destroy the infrastructure that we rely on for essential services and our way of life.

What are some common cyber threats

Cyber threats are constantly evolving. That makes it difficult to create a comprehensive, up-to-date list.

But some common cyber threats include:

These are just examples, though. There are many different cyber threats facing Canadians.

Why cyber threats matter

Cyber threats matter because they can upend our lives – without warning. They can happen to anyone at any given time.

Common risks associated with cyber threats include:

What’s more, the threats we face in cyberspace are complex and rapidly evolving. Governments, businesses, organizations, and Canadians are vulnerable. With more of our economy and essential services moving online every year, the stakes could not be higher.

That makes protecting ourselves – and our country – against cyber threats is more important than ever.

How to stay cyber safe

How can you protect yourself against cyber threats?

Get informed!

Stay connected with the Get Cyber Safe website and social media channels to learn more about how you can stay safe from cyber threats.


The cyber threats facing Canadians have never been more complex.

That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself.

Get Cyber Safe and protect your family, friends and loved ones.

Follow Get Cyber Safe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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