One in three Singapore users don’t manage passwords securely: CSA

February 15th, 2017 | by Alfred Siew
One in three Singapore users don’t manage passwords securely: CSA
Internet
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PHOTO: Wilson Wong for Techgoondu

Despite being aware of the importance of strong passwords, many Singapore users don’t do enough to manage them securely, according to a survey by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA).

Most respondents – 86 per cent – said they used a combination of letters, numbers and symbols in their passwords, but about one in three did not go far enough to secure them, it found.

Thirty-three per cent stored their passwords on their PCs or wrote them down, while 31 per cent used the same passwords for work and personal accounts.

At the same time, one in three either did not enable two-factor authentication (2FA) when the option was available, or was unsure about the technology.

The findings are based on a study of 2,000 respondents between July and August 2016. The CSA, which was set up in 2015 to oversee national cyber security, had the survey conducted online.

The first such study released by the agency is aimed at raising awareness among the public, especially on the role they play against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

In October last year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had unveiled a cyber security plan that called for a hardening of defences, for example, with requirements for telecom, power and gas companies to strengthen their systems.

It also sought to educate the public of the dangers of cyber crime, and create more jobs in cyber security and cooperate with other countries to tackle a growing global menace.

In the same month, however, telecom operator StarHub was hit by an unprecedented distributed denial of service (DDoS) that prevented its broadband users from going online.

The attacks on two separate days were launched from the StarHub customers’ PCs and devices, which were taken over by hackers and thus harder to prevent.

Releasing its findings today, the cyber security authorities were eager to show the need for the public to play its part in mounting a tougher defence against future threats.

Seven in 10 individuals agree that each person had a role to play, it said, but there was room for improvement when it came to awareness and practices.

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