TORONTO -- A new policy group estimates more than half of all Canadians know they've been a victim or target of a cyber crime, such as a leak of personal information, an account hack or installation of malware.

The report from the Cybersecure Policy Exchange at Ryerson University found 57 per cent of participants in an online survey of 2,000 adults in May had encountered at least one cyber crime.

The Pollara survey results were released Thursday as part of an effort to stimulate a national debate about cyber security and privacy.

Of the five forms of cyber crime listed in the Pollara survey, the most commonly reported was harmful software such as a virus (31 per cent) or ransomware (eight per cent).

In addition, 28 per cent said their personal information was exposed through a data breach, 22 per cent had an online account hacked and 13 per cent were tricked by a deceptive email or website.

In accordance with polling industry standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error.

The policy exchange has corporate support from Royal Bank of Canada and Rogers Communications.