We are now living in a world where online transactions have become such a common and integral part of our daily lives that we sometimes wonder how we managed to get our lives in order in the past before internet came into existence. This advancement is certainly a good thing – We can get many things done online conveniently and efficiently without even taking a step out of the house. However, there is a potential danger that comes with such convenience – Security concerns. I think this is especially true for Singaporeans, because we are so used to the safe and secure country we live in, that many Singaporeans have become complacent and unguarded when it comes to potential threats lurking online. The truth is, online threats transcend geographical boundaries and if we are not careful, we can easily fall prey to malicious attacks and suffer a lot of damage.
That is exactly the message that Cyber Security Agency of Singapore aims to send out when they launched their first National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign at the “Live Savvy with Cybersecurity” roadshow last month at Toa Payoh Hub. The campaign was launched by Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Cyber Security, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim on 11 February 2017.
The roadshow cum carnival aimed to raise awareness of the importance of cultivating good cyber hygiene to better secure online activities, in turn protecting against cyber criminals. I visited the roadshow and was impressed at the turnout. To many people, online activities such as banking and shopping are not new but perhaps like me, they are not so clear about the good practices that everyone should have in order to secure everything that they are doing online.
Cybersecurity sounds like a very complicated concept to me, but at the roadshow, I was pleasantly surprised that the concepts were presented in a simplified and easy-to-adopt manner. Through the use of six zones for members of the public to complete activities to win a prize and eventually the grand prize after completing every zone, the messages of cybersecurity were communicated in bite sizes so that both the young and old can understand easily. Highlights include a “SavvyCheck” trivia station to test one’s cybersecurity knowledge, a shooting gallery-style game for participants to “take-down” known cyber threats; and a quiz for participants to gauge their cyber-savviness level and garner customised tips on cybersecurity. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Great effort on the part of Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, to use such a fun and interactive avenue to get an important message across.
As a mom, I often thought about how I can teach my kids to be savvy online and aware of potential risks as well. Part of their school curriculum requires them to use the laptop or IPAD to access certain websites for research or complete assignments occasionally.
Just a couple of weeks ago, my 8-year-old excitedly asked me for our full house address because she wanted to participate in an online survey that would win her the latest model of mobile phone in town. It was a website that she navigated to and a colourful pop-up message came out from nowhere, asking her for our home address, NRIC number and my mobile number! As a young kid, all she wanted was to win a new mobile phone and would naively give all the details they asked for. I quickly sat her down to explain to her that it is very dangerous to reveal personal information online and that she should never do so without telling me. Thankfully, I was able to find out in time before our privacy and safety was potentially compromised. There and then, I realised that as a parent, I have the responsibility to teach my kids about cybersecurity and that it is never too early to do so. I also reminded my kids never to click on flashing banners on websites (yes, they absolutely will click on every banner that looks colourful, is blinking or flashing, or uses words that pique their interest) because that could lead them to malicious websites or download harmful viruses and contents in the background.
Where dealing with cyber threats is concerned, prevention is really the key. Here’s leaving you 10 tips you can do to live savvy with cybersecurity (Source: https://www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline/go-safe-for-me/homeinternetusers/live-savvy-tips) More tips are available online pertaining to online shopping, e-banking etc, so check out the website to find out more.
10 Tips To Live Savvy With Cybersecurity
1. Use strong passwords and enable 2FA where possible
2. Be smart when assessing information online
3. Stop and think before you click on links or attachments
4. Keep your security software up-to-date
5. Install a mobile security app
6. Only download software and apps from official websites and app stores
7. Back up information stored in your computer
8. Do not perform online transactions on shared devices, and over unsecured Wi-Fi
9. Watch out for online purchase scams
10. Keep personal information to yourself
Follow GoSafeOnline Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gosafeonline) for the latest cybersecurity news and tips.
Let us be vigilant against cyber threats so that we can surf the internet and get everything done in a safe and secure manner!
This article was reposted from The J Babies
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