Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 27 July 2017 08:56

Cyber security top concern for Asia-Pac Internet users


Cyber security is the major concern for Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region, a survey by the Internet Society has found. Last year, cyber security was second among users' concerns.

The survey covered more than 2000 people from 40 economies in the region.

Access, data protection, connectivity and privacy were other issues which occupied the minds of those surveyed.

Internet Australia executive director Laurie Patton said that users were facing issues that threatened their trust in what had become the primary means of personal communication.

"So it's incumbent on governments to ensure the Internet is protected, while also ensuring our rights to privacy are preserved," said Patton, who heads one of the Internet Society's prominent members.

internet survey

Key findings of the survey were:

  • Cyber security topped the list of Internet users’ key concerns.
  • Without sufficient online data protection, 50% of women and 40% of men said that they were highly unlikely to use online banking and financial services, and approximately 40% of women and men were highly unlikely to use e-commerce sites and online shops.
  • Over 70% of respondents felt that their personal information was not sufficiently protected online. Yet, close to 60% of respondents believed that they did not have sufficient knowledge and tools to protect their privacy online.
  • Both women (91%) and men (89%) were either very uncomfortable or uncomfortable with disclosing bank and credit card details online.

Rajnesh Singh, regional bureau director, Asia-Pacific, Internet Society, said: “As Internet use in Asia-Pacific continues to skyrocket, it’s crucial that Internet users, organisations, governments and other stakeholders understand the challenges that the region faces.

"The survey results underscore the need for both the public and the private sectors to not only build robust and secure networks and systems, but also to develop tools that equip users with the knowledge and skills to use these services safely online.

"These actions will help increase their confidence in using online services, and their trust in the Internet.”

Patton added that there were some serious takeaways for Australia from the survey findings.

"We need to increase people's understanding about Internet security and we need to ensure appropriate regulatory safeguards are in place," he said.

"We also need to eliminate the 'digital divide' between those who have Internet access and those who don't, and we need to ensure that everyone has the necessary skills to use the Internet given that so many everyday functions and activities are moving online."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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