A website is selling a brand new smart phone for $200 – is it a deal too good to be true? Is [email protected]! a good password?
These were some questions answered on Saturday (Feb 11), during a roadshow to promote cybersecurity awareness organised by the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore.
The answers: A deal which seems too good to be true probably is, and buyers should watch out for other red flags as well. For instance, they should look out for whether buyer protection is included, and whether there is a return policy. They should also be wary of websites accessed via click-through links, as these could be clone websites.
Secure passwords should also feature a variety of upper-case and lower-case characters, as well as numerals and symbols.
“Just as we lock our doors and windows before leaving the house to keep intruders out, we should also protect our devices and networks to keep cyber criminals out,” said Mr David Koh, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore during the event held at the atrium in Toa Payoh hub.
The roadshow also marked the launch of the Live Savvy with Cybersecurity campaign, the agency’s first national cybersecurity awareness. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, was guest of honour at the event.
Other than the roadshow, the campaign will also be going online in the following months to convey how everyone can be a target of cybersecurity attacks and how to prevent this.
The launch of the campaign comes two days after the Government accepted seven strategies outlined by the 30-member Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) to help Singapore navigate a more uncertain global environment in the next decade.
One of the key strategies highlighted was for Singapore to build strong digital capabilities, in areas such as automation, and data analytics, which can help companies turn the wealth of data in their possession into an asset. But cybersecurity is what underpins these projects, and the committee had also recommended that full-time national servicemen be trained to develop niche skills in cyber security.
“Cybersecurity is increasing in importance as we become more digitalised and connected to the Internet. While it provides more opportunities, we also become more vulnerable… CFE has identified it as a growth area. Apart from the opportunities which we think are important for us to build new capabilities and new manpower, it is also important for the general public to understand what cyber security is all about,” Dr Yaacob told the media on the sidelines of the event.
“The awareness programme conducted by CSA and their partners are an important part of the plan to ensure that people have a role to play,” he added.
Mr Koh also cautioned that cyber criminals do not just attack wealthy individuals or profitable companies, stressing that everyone holds information of value. He cited statistics from the police, saying that $48.5 million was lost by individuals last year to crimes involving e-commerce, love scams and impersonations of officials from abroad.
“Some may think that cybersecurity is very technical… (but) you will see that cybersecurity is not a topic that only IT experts can understand. There are simple steps that you can take to protect yourselves online. The more we practice good cyber hygiene, the safer cyberspace will be for all of us,” said Mr Koh.
The roadshow will continue on Sunday (Feb 12), from 10am to 6pm. Visitors can expect fun and interactive activities, such as quizzes, and stand to win prizes.
Estate executive Alex Liow, 43, was at the event. He said it was a good initiative as it helped spread awareness on the importance of cybersecurity, which is an issue people usually take for granted. “The exhibition was quite well done, and the interactive nature of the booths ensured that people got involved.”