1 in 3 Singaporeans experienced fraud and other attacks online: study

Raymond Lau
Yahoo! Tech Talk

A study commissioned by PayPal and endorsed by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) revealed that 1 in 3 Singaporeans had experienced fraud, phishing attacks or had their personal information stolen online or from their computers.

The study polled 1,003 Singaporeans aged 18 and above from July 26 to August 7 this year. As a rule, respondents must have transacted online or through a mobile device in the past three months.

Other key findings include:

  • While 91 percent of respondents were concerned about the amount of personal and financial information shared online, 50 percent did not know how many websites hold their personal details;
  • 1 in 2 respondents use the same passwords across multiple accounts;
  • 55 percent of respondents were not comfortable with sharing their credit/debit card and bank account information online.

The study also found that 7 out of 10 Singaporeans use the convenience of smartphones and mobile Internet to conduct their transactions. However, these come with their own set of problems:

  • 61% were worried that they would expose their financial details if they lose their mobile device;
  • 57% believe that it is difficult to do an online transaction on a mobile device as most websites do not fit the small screen size or take too long to load;
  • 48% felt that mobile devices do not have security features installed.

There are a number of ways to minimise these threats when transacting online, and one of them is, naturally, PayPal. The service acts as a middleman which allows you to pay your favourite online merchants without having to give them your credit card information.

In addition, users should keep these simple safety tips in mind for a more worry-free online transaction experience:

  • Use complicated and varying passwords for different sites: If a hacker gains access to one account, others will remain safe as long as their passwords are different. If you have problems remembering multiple passwords, give password management software a shot.
  • Set a lock screen passcode: You never know who’s going to pick up your phone. Set a PIN/password to lock your phone the moment the screen goes to sleep. If possible, set a maximum number of tries before the phone become unusable.
  • Transact only on trusted sites: Always look for the padlock icon on sites before entering your account information and password. Also look for websites that start with “https” as they provide an additonal layer of security.
  • Be smart with links and downloads: Many times, we have the complete power to stop phishing and other attacks. Make sure you download apps from verified sources, and don’t click on anything that sounds suspicious in SMS and emails. 
  • Educate your kids: NCPC has a great website called Cyberonia which equips primary school kids with the right knowledge to handle the many facets of cyber wellness, cyber safety and security.