SINGAPORE – ESET, a developer of award-winning cybersecurity software, recently commissioned a survey to understand consumer behaviours online and their attitudes towards cybersecurity in light of the recent cases of data compromises.
The ESET 2018 APAC Consumer Behaviour survey revealed that more than 1 in 3 (42%) Singaporeans had experienced a data breach in the past 12 months. These breaches range from personal data being stolen and used, fraudulent charges on bank accounts, social media breaches, malware breaches and the most prominent, virus attacks.
Singaporeans are increasingly possessing more connected devices and spending more time on the internet as a result. On average, 62% of Singaporeans are spending more than three hours a day on the internet. This could be due in part to various reasons including the number of connected devices they possess. On average, Singaporeans have at least two connected devices with Smart TVs being the most prevalent in Singaporean homes.  64% of respondents state they owned a smart TV, among other devices such as wearables, lights, fridges and more.
As consumers move towards the use and reliance of more digital devices and solutions, it is vital that consumers understand the cyber threat landscape, as well as the available cybersecurity solutions suited for their needs.
A need for cybersecurity education
The survey also revealed gaps in understanding of basic cybersecurity protocols. Only 22% of respondents will check if a website is secure before making a transaction. The highest proportion of respondents (40%) state they would trust a familiar website despite familiar sites being a prime target for phishing.
The lack of need to check could be due to the perception that such websites are safe as the respondents believe that the highest source of cyber-attacks originates from social media (17%) and internet downloads (17%).
A need for cybersecurity solutions
Password hygiene continues to be a key challenge as close to half (44%) of the respondents admitted that they use similar passwords over different platforms. Similar passwords across different platforms pose more significant threats, especially when the platforms they protect contain important information such as personal data and credit card information.
Parvinder Walia, Sales and Marketing Director for the Asia Pacific and Japan, ESET said:
“The survey shows that while Singaporeans have a general understanding of cybersecurity, more needs to be done given the evolving threat landscape. Consumers need to understand that basic cybersecurity hygiene is important and take proactive measures to educate themselves, especially given how much time we spent online, and how much digital transactions are taking place today.”
The survey polled 1000 respondents in Singapore, of which 43% were male and 57% were female. The bulk of respondents were aged between 35-44 years (27%), followed by a range of 18-24 (20%) years. The ESET Consumer Behaviour Survey was conducted in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The objective of the survey was to get a better understanding of the behaviour of consumers online, as well as the threats they are vulnerable to. It seeks to uncover what their thoughts were on data protection measures such as password strength and anti-virus solutions, considering the growing trend of owning and using constantly connected devices.
 Excluding computers, laptops and mobile devices