While seven in 10 respondents agree that every individual has a role to play in cybersecurity, not all of them practise safe cybersecurity measures. This paramount finding amongst others, was revealed in a recent survey by Cyber Security Agency (CSA).

The survey was commissioned across 2000 respondents aged 15 years and above, which underscored salient pointers such as encouraging interest in learning more about cybersecurity and the room for improvement on cyber hygiene practices.

Room for improvement on cyber hygiene practices

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Close to three in five respondents were extremely concerned about the security of their financial and personal information. However, the findings revealed that there is room for improvement when it came to cyber hygiene awareness and practices.

Although most respondents seemed to be aware of the need for strong passwords – 86% said they used a combination of letters, numbers and symbols in their passwords – one in three does not manage their passwords securely, for instance by storing their passwords on their computer or writing them down (33%), or using the same passwords for work and personal accounts (31%)

Photo courtesy of Cyber Security Agency.

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% 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

Photo courtesy of CSA.

About one third of respondents indicated they did not install security applications in their mobile phones. The main reasons were 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.

 Interest in learning more about cybersecurity

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A majority (67%) 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 cybersecurity education for the youth and elderly.

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

In Singapore’s journey to become a Smart Nation, Mr. David Koh, Chief Executive of CSA, has commented that it was pivotal for people to take ownership of their cyber hygiene. This can be done through exploring more ways to reach out to people with the necessary cybersecurity resources and information.