"With more and more Singaporeans using the Internet while on the go, the importance of raising their awareness and educating them on how to best safeguard their personal information has never been greater. Mobile devices and social networks have presented new platforms for cyber criminals - a danger that we can avoid by being diligent and alert whenever we are online," said Law Professor Tan Cheng Han, who chairs the Media Literacy Council.
Here are some simple security tips to protect yourself when you go online:
- Always be cautious: Be aware and exercise caution when clicking on links from unknown senders. Pay extra attention around any messages from within a website or that appear to be sent by a website, and always check the URL. Manually type in the URL instead of clicking on a link that could lead you to a potentially unsafe site.
- Choose strong passwords and keep them safe: Select passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Strong passwords have eight characters or more and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (e.g. # $ % ! ?). Try not to use the same password for every service you use online, and change passwords on a regular basis, ideally every 90 days.
- Stay informed: Keep yourself updated with the latest trends on cyber crime by reading online security blogs, which often contain information on the newest dangers and suggestions on how you can maintain safe browsing habits. An example of such a blog would be the Ask Marian blog, where Norton Internet Safety Advocate Marian Merritt writes and speaks about issues relevant to safeguarding kids and families. Alternatively the Norton Cybercrime Index is a free tool that measures and warns people about real-time cyber crime happening around the world, and can be downloaded as a desktop gadget or viewed on your mobile phone.
- Maintain an up-to-date browser and operating system: Browsers and operating systems usually improve their security settings and you can benefit by regularly updating to the latest ones. Not updating can leave you vulnerable to attacks and could lead to information and data loss. Use comprehensive security software such as Norton 360 Multi-Device, which provides security across Windows-based PCs, Macs, Android-based phones and tablets, all with a single activation key. It also features five patented layers of protection, strong social networking defence, anti-scam capabilities and improved cloud-enabled features.
- Other best practices: Check your privacy settings regularly to make sure account and information is as secure as possible. Do not accept "friend" or "follower" requests from unfamiliar people, and never post social networking messages indicating your location, especially if away from home. Be aware of your surroundings when accessing sensitive information - whether entering passwords or viewing sensitive or confidential data.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.