A new study has found the City of Kitchener ranked the highest in the region for cybercrime risk factors, but actually improved from its 2010 ranking.

Kitchener placed 12th on the 2012 list, compared to 10th place in the previous ranking.

The survey was commissioned by Symantec, the makers of the Norton anti-virus program, and conducted by independent research firm Sperling's BestPlaces.

The two previously top-ranked cities, Burlington, Ont. and Port Coquitlam, B.C. retained the top spots. The 10 riskiest online cities are:

  1. Burlington, Ont.
  2. Port Coquitlam, B.C.
  3. Vancouver, B.C.
  4. Langley, B.C.
  5. Calgary, Alta.
  6. Fredericton, N.B.
  7. Toronto, Ont.
  8. New Westminster, B.C.
  9. Edmonton, Alta.
  10. Victoria, B.C.

Guelph ranked 27th on the list, up from number 32 in 2010 while Cambridge held steady in 40th place. Waterloo was not listed.

Four categories measuring cybercrime data per capita were among those considered; attempted malware infections, attempted web attacks, attempted spamming and attempted bots, which run automated tasks online.

Factors like the number of PCs and smartphones, social networking, accessing potentially unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, among others, were also included in the study.

However, researchers point out the greatest risk doesn't necessarily correlate with greatest infection rates, as people are taking precautions to protect their computers.

Lynn Hargrove, director of consumer solutions for Symantec Canada, says in a press release "I suggest Canadians take a good look at how they are connecting online and what security perimeters they've put in place - if they are not certain they are as safe as possible, it's easy to get educated and make small changes that go a long way to protect their information."