Parliament Sitting on 4 October 2022

QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER

7. Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) to date, how many seniors have been engaged through the Seniors Go Digital Programme; and (b) whether the Ministry has plans to enhance or put in place more programmes to specifically target online scams against seniors.

8. Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether those who participated in the Seniors Go Digital Programme are now more proficient in using digital devices in their daily lives, such as to access SingPass, online booking of polyclinic appointments and checking of account balances; and (b) beyond numbers, whether the focus of the Programme can be to improve digital usage by seniors going forward.

 
 

Answer:

1. MCI understands that going digital can be a daunting experience. This is one reason we established the SG Digital Office (SDO) in June 2020, to better support people who need help, such as seniors, hawkers and heartland merchants, with basic digital tools and skills. Under the Seniors Go Digital (SGD) programme, SDO’s Digital Ambassadors (DAs) have engaged and trained over 190,000 seniors to date. 

2. The SGD programme focuses on training and enabling seniors to use digital tools for their daily lives. Seniors are trained in basic digital skills such as using a smartphone to access government services like Singpass and health services, and to communicate and transact online. In a 2021 survey with seniors conducted one month after their engagement with the SDO, about nine in ten seniors said they continued to apply the digital skills they learnt in their daily lives. 

3. Targeted programmes have also been implemented to strengthen seniors’ ability to manage cyber threats. For instance, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA)’s SG Cyber Safe Seniors Programme raises awareness and drives adoption of cyber hygiene practices amongst seniors, and has engaged more than 45,000 seniors since its launch. Programmes are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure their relevance. With online scams being a growing threat, a range of topics and tips for seniors to guard against online scams have been included.

4. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) have also rolled out broad-based and targeted public education efforts. These include the annual anti-scam public education campaign, ‘Spot the Signs. Stop the Crimes.’, which builds awareness and vigilance amongst the general public on the tell-tale signs of scams. NCPC’s Volunteer Crime Prevention Ambassadors also engage residents, including seniors, to share crime prevention tips.

5. Complementing the Government’s programmes, the Digital for Life (DfL) movement was launched in 2021 to galvanise the support of people, private and public (3P) sectors on ground-up initiatives to help Singaporeans gain confidence in going digital. For example, at the Majestic Smart Seniors Applied Centre, managed by RSVP Singapore, seniors learn to identify and avoid scams, and protect their digital identity, through curated modules and webinars conducted in partnership with Google. 

6. The Government continuously reviews its anti-scam programmes and efforts to ensure they are updated and relevant. We will also continue to work with the community and industry to engage seniors, to help them stay safe and secure online. 
 
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