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Research reveals Southeast Asians top internet worries

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Southeast Asia’s Millennials (aged 25-40) and Boomers (57-75) are wary of future technology, according to new research by internet security firm Kaspersky.

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The research, “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy”, was conducted last November and asked 831 social media users in the region about their level of fear regarding current technological trends. More than half (62%) are afraid of deepfakes, with highest fear level among Baby Boomers (74%) and lowest among Gen X (58%).

Deepfakes use artificial intelligence to create images, audio, or voice recordings in someone else’s likeness. Deepfake videos have been used for political purposes, as well as for personal revenge. Increasingly, they are also being used in major attempts at blackmail and fraud.

For instance, the CEO of a British energy firm was tricked out of $243,000 (7.9 million baht) by a deepfake of the head of his parent company requesting an emergency transfer of funds.

SEA respondents are less worried but still wary about biometrics or the use fingerprint/eye/facial scanners (32%), smart devices (27%), and robots like robotic cleaners (15%).

Respondents were also asked about their negative experiences online.

The most common, experienced by more than 3-in-10 respondents, was account takeover. More than a quarter (29%) also reported exposure of their secret information.

Over 2-in-10 said someone had forcibly gained access to their devices (28%), their private information was either stolen or used without consent (24%) or was seen publicly (23%).

Aftermaths of these incidents include receiving spam and adverts (43%), stress (29%), embarrassment or offence (17%), reputational damage (15%), and monetary loss (14%).

“Our survey proves that unfortunate incidents can happen online and have real-life repercussions,” said Kaspersky’s managing director for Asia Pacific, Chris Connell.

“Technologies are meant to evolve for the greater good, but there are always learning curves where some amount of fear with action will be vital.”

Meanwhile, the same research revealed almost 2-in-10 users in the region still believe that internet security software is not required to protect their online lives. This perception is highest with Gen Z (17%), followed by millennials (16%) and Gen X and boomers (15%).

“This is a cause of concern as we humans are prone to making errors from time to time and such solutions are meant to be our safety nets,” said Connell. “While there is no silver bullet when it comes to cybersecurity, it is still important to have basic defences in place. Business owners should particularly look into this as their IT infrastructure continues to flow from their safer enterprise networks to more vulnerable individual households.”

Published : July 08, 2021

By : The Nation