Singaporeans need to improve their cyber hygiene practices: CSA

Nayela Deeba

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Singaporeans needs to do more to protect themselves from cyber threats, according to an online survey by Singapore's Cyber Security Agency (CSA).

While 70 percent of the 2,000 respondents agreed that every individual has a role to play in cybersecurity, not all of them practise safe cybersecurity measures.

For instance, 86 percent of them ensured that their passwords were a combination of letters, symbols or numbers. However, 33 percent of them stored their passwords on their computer or wrote them down, while 31 percent admitted using the same password for work and personal accounts. Also, only one third enabled the Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) option, while the rest were unsure about it.

With regards to securing personal devices such as mobiles phones, USB or external drives, 41 percent said they did not conduct virus scans on them or on files before opening them as they felt it was a waste of time. One third of the respondents also did not install the security app on their mobile devices as it took up too much storage space.

Besides that, six in 10 respondents connected to open, non-password protected Wi-Fi networks even if they were not familiar with the networks. This indicates that many were unaware that these practices may pose substantial risks to the security of their personal information.

On a bright side, two thirds of the respondents said they are interested to learn more about cybersecurity.  This includes learning ways to protect and prevent data from unauthorised access and/or threats, as well as receiving more reminders on good cyber hygiene practices, and cybersecurity education for the youth and elderly.

In line with this, CSA launched "Live Savvy with cybersecurity campaign" on 11 February 2017 at Toa Payoh. The campaign saw a turnout of close to 16,000 visitors.

 "I am encouraged that a majority of the respondents recognise that everyone has a role to play in cybersecurity and many expressed an interest to learn more about it. We will continue to explore ways to reach out to people with the necessary cybersecurity resources and information, so that they can take ownership of their cyber hygiene and support Singapore's journey to become a Smart Nation,' said David Koh, Chief Executive, CSA.