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Singaporeans band together: CSA survey finds cybersecurity is everyone's mission

20 Feb 2017

While we know that more needs to be done in the cybersecurity space, there are still some gaping holes in how we approach it. Those are the figures coming from the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) about how Singaporeans play a role in security.

CSA conducted an online study of 2000 respondents over a three-month period, and found that 70% of respondents believe every individual has a role to play in cybersecurity – but there is much room for improvement.

86% of respondents said they use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols in their passwords, but 33% write their passwords down or store them on their computer, and 31% use the same passwords for work and personal accounts.

66% of respondents also use two-factor authentication, while 24% did not. Of those 24%, 40% said it was too time-consuming, 38% said it was unnecessary and 30% said it wasn’t important.

The report also found that mobile devices, USB drives and external hard drives are widely used, however 41% don’t conduct virus scans on the devices before opening them. Why? Because they found it too time-consuming or unnecessary.

What’s more, 60% of respondents use security applications on their mobile phone, but 32% did not. 8% did not answer. Out of the respondents who said no, 35% said they weren’t necessary and 30% say the applications take up too much storage space, 29% were overwhelmed by the options and 25% said they were too costly.

However, 81% of respondents connect to Wi-Fi networks in public places, and 35% connect to open, free WiFi even if they weren’t familiar with the networks. CSA says people may not realise that their personal information is put at risk every time they connect.

CSA says that 67% of respondents showed interest in learning more about security, threats, digital hygiene.

CSA chief executive David Koh says that even with areas for improvement, he is encouraged by the fact that Singaporeans know everyone has a role to play and wish to learn more.

“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,” Koh says.

The report found that the public want to see more information around: steps to protecting data from unauthorised threats/access; more communication to provide information and warnings; basic education for youth and elderly.

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