Despite experiencing online threats or even cyberattacks, a third of respondents took only token steps to protect themselves and their children.

In a survey of 11,200 respondents from the Asia Pacific region (Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand) conducted earlier this year, it has been found that being aware of cybersecurity risks may not always lead to action being taken to reduce such risks.

While 62% of APAC respondents had experienced a cyberattack or online threat in the past 12 months, only 23% actually took steps to educate their children about online safety or install cybersecurity protection measures.

Of the seven APAC markets surveyed, India (81%), Thailand (65%), and Taiwan (63%) had the highest number of respondents that had experienced a cyberattack or online threat. The most common threats were malware/virus attacks (17%), theft of personal data (13%), and social media breaches or duplication (11%). Only about 23% of respondents had installed free or paid antivirus/security app on their mobile devices.

Other findings 

The survey data shows that the most common types of scams were online shopping (21%), social media (18%), and investment-related schemes (15%). Also:

  • Close to half of respondents indicated that they shopped online at least once a month.
  • More than half of the respondents trusted the security measures by online retailers completely.
  • 45% and 23% of respondents from Thailand and India respectively, also indicated that they would continue shopping at an online retailer even after a data breach, regardless of the security status thereafter.
  • More than 90% of respondents did take some form of precaution when shopping online: the most popular measure was checking for product/seller reviews to assess a retailer’s legitimacy.
  • 95% of respondents who were parents from Indonesia had never spoken to their children about cybersecurity, and this remains significantly high in the region.
  • 77% of other APAC respondents had never spoken to their children about the issue of staying safe online.
  • 32% of parents from Thailand and 25% from Hong Kong also indicated that their children had been exposed to inappropriate content online.
  • 90% of parents surveyed did take some weak non cyber-related actions to protect their children’s online safety. Popular methods included limiting the amount of time their children spent online (31%), using parental control applications (29%) and checking what apps were installed on their children’s devices (24%).

According to Parvinder Walia, President (Asia Pacific and Japan), ESET, which commissioned the survey: “Our survey findings suggest that it is now common for internet users to encounter online threats. Therefore, it is critical that consumers are educated about the growing threats, and are aware of the steps they can take to protect themselves as well as their children when conducting online activities.”