Cybersecurity is the No. 1 concern for internet users in the region, according to the annual Survey on Internet Policy Issues in Asia-Pacific by the Internet Society.
Sixty percent of the 2,000 people polled said they are aware of internet-related policies, regulation or laws enacted by their national government in the past year. These efforts mainly sought to address cybersecurity, cybercrime, access, privacy and data protection.
However, 70 percent of them still felt that their personal information was not sufficiently protected online. Six in 10 also believe that they did not have sufficient knowledge and tools to protect their privacy online.
As such, more than half (55 percent) of the respondents indicated that they are either highly unlikely or unlikely to use online services if there are no guarantees that their personal information would be fully protected.
Specifically, 50 percent of the female respondents and 40 percent of the men said that they are highly unlikely to use online banking and financial services, and about 40 percent of women and men were highly unlikely to use e-commerce sites and online shops without sufficient online data protection.
"Internet usage in Asia Pacific continues to skyrocket and it is crucial that Internet users, organisations, governments and other stakeholders understand the challenges that the region faces," said Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Director, Asia-Pacific, Internet Society.
"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 improve their confidence in using online services, and their trust in the Internet," he added.