The Importance of Good Cyber Security Practices


With the recent cyber-attack that was carried out on one of Singapore’s largest healthcare institutions, it highlights the importance of cyber-security. While the fate of 1.5 million patient records remain in question, you can do your part to secure your online data by having good cyber security practices to prevent hackers from obtaining it.

The first step to cyber security is having a robust password. Dealing with multiple passwords can be a love-hate-affair but strong passwords, and password hygiene, are necessary steps to safeguard your accounts.

Therefore, it is crucial that your password does not contain easily obtained information such as your NRIC, Date of Birth or Anniversaries. It is also recommended to set a password that consists of more than 10 characters, including uppercase and lowercase with numbers and symbols, which will prevent hackers from easily cracking the code.

The second, best practice to ensure good cyber security is to utilise a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This is a recommended implementation as there are circumstances where a hacker already holds login credentials of the targeted user for intrusion. An algorithm tagged to the 2FA will issue a one-time password (OTP), either through SMS to your mobile phone or physical OTP token, which is used for login access on top of your registered password.

Enabling 2FA on your user account is beneficial as it provides a second layer of protection when your password security has been breached. If your online portal provides 2FA protection, it is best to enable it. One must never reveal their OTP to any requests from unknown calls as it can be a scam in progress.

Having good password hygiene by not documenting and sharing your account password with other users, using only secured networks for account access, and not reusing passwords will all help to strengthen your account security significantly.

For more information on how to set up a strong password, 2FA and other good cyber security practices, you may refer to following links below.

Use Strong Passwords and Enable 2FA

5 Tips to Stay Safe Online

Making SENSE of Internet Banking Security

Understanding Two-Factor Authentication and Transaction Signing