Room for Improvement on Cyber Hygiene and Security Practices in Singapore

February 21, 20178:44 am1432 views

While every individual has a role to play in cyber security, not all of them practise safe cyber security measures, revealed findings from an online cyber security awareness and cyber hygiene survey commissioned by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA).

As per the survey, close to three in five respondents were extremely concerned about the security of their financial and personal information, but there is enough room for improvement of cyber hygiene practices. Although most respondents seem to be aware of the need for strong passwords – 86 percent said they used a combination of letters, numbers and symbols in their passwords.

However, one in three respondents do not manage their passwords securely, for instance by storing their passwords on their computer or writing them down (33 percent), or by using the same passwords for work and personal accounts (31 percent). In addition, one in three either did not enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when the option was available, or was unsure about it.

While there is widespread use of cloud storage services, and devices such as mobile devices, USB drives and external hard disks, 41 percent admitted to not conducting virus scans on these devices and files before opening them, as they found it either too time-consuming or deemed it as unnecessary.

About one third of respondents indicated they did not install security applications in their mobile phones. The main reasons was that they did not see the need for mobile security, felt that it took up too much storage space or that there were too many options to choose from.

Coupled with the finding that more than six in 10 respondents connected to open, non-password protected Wi-Fi networks in public places, whether or not they were familiar with the networks, the survey suggested that many may not realise that these practices may pose substantial risks to the security of their personal information.

See: Cyber Security Sector in Asia Pacific to reach US$26 billion in 2017

Interest to Learn More about Cyber Security

A majority (67 percent) of respondents expressed interest in learning more about cybersecurity, particularly in areas such as ways to protect and prevent data from unauthorised access and/or threats, more reminders on good cyber hygiene practices, and cyber security education for the youth and elderly.

To demonstrate how cyber security can be easy to adopt in our everyday lives, CSA launched its first “Live Savvy with Cybersecurity” campaign on 11 February, 2017 with a road show at Toa Payoh HDB Hub held on 11 and 12 February 2017. Close to 16,000 visitors from all walks of life, thronged six interactive activity zones, where they learned more about cyber security threats and gathered tips on improving their cyber hygiene through fun quizzes and games.

Mr. David Koh, Chief Executive of CSA, commented: “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.”

Also read: Digital Transformation Waits: Keys to Bridging the Cyber Security Gaps and Bolstering the Existing System

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