F‑Secure survey reveals APAC consumer security needs

A study conducted by cyber security company F‑Secure in 2022 reveals consumer behavior and concerns in the Australia and Pacific region, highlighting what consumers are worried about, and their willingness to protect them­selves.

This article focuses on the findings related to consumers from all regions surveyed, which are: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. While often unified in their responses, the regions are not identical, having slight variations.

About the respondents

The data for the F‑Secure APAC Consumer Survey consists of the answers from 2873 respondents.

78% of the respondents were aged 18 — 44, and 20% aged 45 — 74. 48% of respondents are male, and 51% female.

Key findings about APAC consumers in a nutshell

  1. An average 50% of respondents have experienced at least one form of cybercrime in the past 12 months. Less than 50% of the respondents in New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia had faced cybercrime. In the other regions over 50% had faced it, with Malaysian respondents having faced it the most (58%).

  2. The survey revealed that consumers are highly concerned about cybercrime. 51% to 81% of respondents feel that they could become a victim of cybercrime or identity theft, with Vietnam ranking the highest at 81%, and India the lowest at 51%.

  3. Across all countries, consumers are consistently the most worried about banking threats. Identity theft, credit card fraud and online shopping fraud also rank quite consistently in the top 3 worries.

  4. Identity theft and cyber security insurance are the least popular security products or services across all the countries, except Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, most respondents (59%) do not use parental control.

  5. 82% of the respondents would consider switching their mobile or broadband service provider, bank, or insurance company for a clear cyber security service. New Zealanders are the least willing to do so, and Vietnamese and Indian consumers the most willing.

Prevalence of threats

Overall, 50% of respondents had experienced at least one form of cybercrime in the past 12 months.

Across most countries, consumers had faced SMS and call fraud the most. Credit card fraud, malware and unauthorized access to social media also topped the biggest issues consumers had faced in the APAC region.

The impact of cyber crime

While average 50% of the respondents had faced cybercrime, approximately 25% of them reported it causing stress and concern. This indicates that while cybercrime is rather common, the majority of the people are not affected by it. After all, facing cybercrime doesn’t necessarily mean falling victim to it.

However, cybercrime can have serious consequences for those who do fall victim to it. In all regions, more than 15% of the respondents who had faced cybercrime reported losing time with fixing the issue and possible consequences. Even more concerning, over 10% had lost money due to cyber crime. Indian respondents reported losing money more the most, with 15% reporting this.

Additionally, around 10% reported having personal information being stolen or losing control of online accounts. Unfortunately, these issues can lead to identity theft and loss of money in the future, as criminals may use the stolen personal information later.

It’s also good to keep in mind that all the victims might not be aware of their personal information being stolen. Such issues don’t always have immediate consequences and are therefore difficult to detect.

Most respondents believe that they could fall victim to cyber crime

62% of the respondents in all regions felt that they could become a victim in the future. The top 3 worries in all regions are someone hacking into their bank account, identity theft, and online shopping and credit card fraud. India is the only exception, where top worries also included hacking into an email or a social media account, and children seeing inappropriate content online.

Malaysian respondents reported being very worried about cybercrime more than respondents from other regions.

How do respondents protect them­selves?

While most of the respondents believe that they could fall victim to cybercrime, being the most concerned about crime targeting their money, they aren’t yet taking all the necessary and available steps in preventing these threats.

Identity theft protection and insurance for identity theft or cyber security are the least popular security products or services on the market across the region. Hong Kong and Singapore respondents have also been reluctant to take parental control apps into use.

The security benefits respondents would pay for

The most wanted additional security benefit in all regions is safe online shopping and banking. However, there was some variation between the surveyed regions in the following spots.

The next spots were mostly shared between all-in-one security and privacy service for all devices, home Wi‑Fi protection, secure storage for personal information, and alert system for data breaches and hacking against smart devices.

Consumers want cyber security from their service providers

An average 85% of the respondents find it important or quite important that their mobile or broadband service provider also offers them a clear cyber security service. This affects consumer behavior, as the same percentage are willing or would probably switch their provider based on their security offering. Clearly cyber security offers a path to delivering a differentiated service for service providers.

Similarly, banks and insurance companies can differentiate their services by offering cybersecurity, as more consumers shift to working and performing various digital transactions from home. 82% would or would probably switch to another bank or insurance company if they offered security services.

Key insights and suggestions for service providers

In light of the survey, it is clear that service providers across the whole APAC region have a great opportunity to differentiate their services and respond to consumer needs with cyber security. Partnering with F‑Secure is the easiest way to strengthen your offering.

Here are some key insights on how F‑Secure Total all-in-one security can help service providers and their customers.

49% of consumers do not yet have identity theft protection, while 95% report being at least slightly worried about identity theft. F‑Secure ID Protection is a direct response to this opportunity.

While identity theft insurance and identity theft protection are among the least popular security services on the market, but almost all the respondents are worried about identity theft, are consumers simply not aware of the existence of such services?

Additionally, 29% of respondents have no protection for their smart devices, while 88% find it important to protect their phones and tablets against malware and ransomware. With F‑Secure Internet Security, consumers can secure their computers, phones and tablets at the same time.

F‑Secure Internet Security’s banking protection, browsing protection as well as ID protection pass­word manager directly respond to the top 3 consumer worries, which are bank scams, identity theft and online shopping and credit card fraud. Additionally, these features within F‑Secure Total all-in-one security are among the top security benefits the respondents are willing to pay for.

And according to the survey, 82% of the respondents would consider switching their mobile or broadband service provider, or bank or insurance company for a clear cyber security service. Find out how F‑Secure can help you respond to their needs.