Stop Scams Podcast: Set up strong passwords using Singlish and unique phrases

(Clockwise from left) Director of the National Cyber Threat Analysis Centre Willis Lim, ST correspondent David Sun, deputy news editor Andre Yeo, podcast producer Teo Tong Kai and journalist Jessie Lim in the podcast studio. ST PHOTO: PAXTON PANG

Synopsis: This is a special-edition podcast series by The Straits Times to raise greater public awareness of the modern scourge of scams in Singapore and globally.

In Singapore, nearly $1 billion has been lost by scam victims since 2016. Mutating and spreading, different types of scams have infiltrated every aspect of our lives, from romance to work. The police are cracking down on offenders. What can you do to protect yourself?

In the series’ fifth episode, ST’s deputy news editor Andre Yeo, crime correspondent David Sun and journalist Jessie Lim speak with Mr Willis Lim, director of the National Cyber Threat Analysis Centre, the research division of the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) that oversees Singapore's cyber security strategy. Mr Lim talks about the ways cyber criminals identify potential victims and new scams the CSA is seeing in 2022. 

Mr Lim explains why the use of Singlish words, which are not commonly found in most dictionaries, makes it much harder for cyber criminals to crack your passwords. He also provides tips on how Singaporeans can protect themselves from tech support scams. 

Highlights (click/tap above):

8:49 How cyber criminals look for victims’ personal particulars online and on the Dark Web

9:36 Why Mr Willis Lim stopped his mother from throwing his phone bill into the dustbin 

11:10 Scams the Cyber Security Agency is seeing in 2022, such as phishing and tech support scams

20:30 How to set a strong password using Singlish and unique passphrases 

21:50 How tech support scams work and the steps you can take to protect yourself 

28:29 The dollar value of personal data stolen from data breaches

Listen to earlier Stop Scams podcasts:

Ep 1 - Near impossible to recover your money once scammers transfer it out of Singapore

Ep 2 - How scammers are buying bank accounts and digital identities of youth for misuse

Ep 3 - Why children are more susceptible to scams than adults

Ep 4 - How to spot a victim of a scam

Produced by: Andre Yeo (, Jessie Lim (, David Sun (, Ernest Luis, Teo Tong Kai and Paxton Pang

Edited by: Eden Soh 

Read ST's Stop Scams articles:

• Anti-Scam Hotline: 1800-722-6688 (9am - 5pm);

• National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868 (8am - 12am);

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