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5 Simple Tips shared by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

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The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore shares the importance of being cyber secure

A lot of daily things we do requires connecting to the internet from our mobile devices/phones and computers – from keeping in touch with our loved ones, paying for our bills to watching the latest Korean or Hong Kong dramas. But while technology brings with it many conveniences, there are inherent dangers that comes from being in cyberspace. Just as we lock our doors to keep criminals out, similarly we need to protect our online assets and personal data.

According to findings from the Cyber Security Public Awareness Survey (released in February 2017), many of us still do not practise good cybersecurity habits. One of the key findings was that one in three respondents does not manage their passwords securely –  they store their passwords on their computers or write it down, or use the same passwords for work and personal accounts! Furthermore, Singapore Police Force’s 2016 annual crime statistics tells us that while overall crime rate has decreased, e-crime remains a significant concern. After all, cyber criminals don’t just target famous celebrities or large companies. For example, your retirement savings could make you an attractive target.

Prevention is key- know the threats and how to prevent them so you won’t fall for them!  For example, cyber criminals can trick you into clicking on infected links to download malware that will infect your computer with viruses, or send you phishing emails (with a familiar topic as bait) to try to extract your personal data, including your bank details! They can go on to assume your identify online to gain financial advantage.

How should one look to protect their personal data and online assets? For a start, CSA’s “Live Savvy with Cybersecurity” campaign recommends five simple cybersecurity tips:

  1. Strong Password. Use strong passwords with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. We know it’s tiresome to remember or change passwords, so one great tip is to use your short-term goals as passwords, such as ‘Lose2KGSoon!”, so it’ll be both easy to remember and encouraging! Also, do enable two-factor authentication (2FA) where possible.
  2. Think Before Clicking. Sometimes you might receive emails with links or attachments, which may either seem random or strange, or are from persons you are not familiar with. Stop and think before clicking on them! If you are unsure, verify with the sender or ask someone in your family for help in checking the authenticity of the email. Such emails can be used by cybercriminals to retrieve your confidential information.
  3. Update Software. If you’re likely to forget to update your apps and software, enable the auto-update function so you’ll never have to worry about it again. This provides a basic layer of protection for your device.
  4. Use Official Websites and App Stores. When downloading new apps and software, only download them from official websites and app stores. There are fake apps out there from illegitimate sources, which could introduce viruses onto your devices if you download them!
  5. Caution with Open Wi-Fi Networks. Open/public Wi-Fi networks are great, because we can save on using our mobile data when we are out and about. But when you use them, make sure not to perform financial transactions or send confidential information, because cyber criminals are able to intercept most types of activity that take place over such networks.

Do visit www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline for more information and practical tips regarding Internet safety and security. 


Article attributed to Mr Tay Swee Yee, Advisor of Cyber Security Agency, Singapore (CSA) and Co-Chair of The Cyber Security Awareness Alliance 

Mr Tay Swee Yee, 60, is currently Advisor at the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA). He is also Co-Chair of the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance. The Alliance, which comprises members from the government, private sector agencies as well as trade associations, aims to build a positive culture of cybersecurity, as well as promote and enhance awareness and adoption of essential cybersecurity practices.

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