84% of the nation’s Gen-Z and digitally-savvy has this false sense of security people thought they were secure online, but 44% had actually been exposed to cyber-incidents.

Almost all households in Singapore have a mobile phone (97%) and a computer (92%), while just over three quarters have a tablet or Smart TV (both 77%). On average, each household has three mobile phones and two computers. This number increases to an average of four mobile phones and three computers among the Generation Z (18 – 24-year-old) group.

According to a recent survey, 87% of households in the island city have at least one device connected to the internet and 72% of households always have multiple devices connected to the internet. Also, connected devices are most commonly used for streaming TV shows and movies (73%), and search engines (70%), with news (63%), and music streaming (58%).

Entertainment goals are the next most utilized function at 55%. Interestingly, surveyed parents use connected devices more than the average Singaporean to stream TV shows, with 84% reporting streaming TV as one of the services used. Despite labels that older generations hate technology and younger generations are obsessed with IT, the reality is that all generations are starting to embrace the digital life in the small country due to strong initiatives by the authorities.

Tell us what we did not know

All the above information has been well-known even without yet another survey. However, the more interesting information reported now is that:

  • Three quarters (76%) thought that their digital lifestyle was safe for their privacy.
  • Generation Z respondents were most confident of their security, with 84% thinking that their digital lifestyle was safe but we’re not, resulting to false sense instead.
  • However, this confidence and familiarity may have resulted in flippant attitudes on cybersecurity across the board, as over two in five have knowingly been hacked (44%), most often via an email account or social media.
  • The true proportion of people who may have been hacked could possibly be even higher, as 15% had never checked, while 19% were unsure because they were unaware of ways to find out if they had been hacked.
  • Revenue in smart home statistics is expected to increase from 25.3% of households in 2020 to 40.1% in 2024, and there has already been a seven-fold increase as compared to the year before. While these devices do not usually come to mind when it comes to the latest cybersecurity incidents, they are just as vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals among the savvy users of such home-automation technologies. 

Commented Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Kaspersky, which conducted the survey: “As Singapore continues to harness technology as part of its Smart Nation initiative, households become more digitally connected, at the same time, become more susceptible to cyber threats. It is crucial for users to be aware of the security risks they face, especially as more users start to embrace a connected lifestyle. Particularly with the current expedited shift in the IT environment we are now facing because of the pandemic, there is a need for greater cybersecurity awareness as users cannot afford to let up on their cyber guard.”

Yeo advises that the best defense is to remain vigilant to where our digital vulnerabilities lie, especially in explosion of remote-working. The standard best practices for such vigilance can always be found in this publication.