South-East Asian consumers value digital reputation

By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic BLOOMBERG

CONSUMERS in South-East Asia value their digital reputation and that of companies or brands, Kaspersky Lab GM for South-East Asia Yeo Siang Tiong said.

According to a study by Kaspersky, consumers are aware of their digital reputation on social media while simultaneously holding brands accountable for their behaviour online.

“This means consumers today are very digitally and socially aware, so they will protect themselves such as by creating an anonymous account.

“Behind an anonymous account, they can be more liberal at sharing,” he said at a webinar organised by Kaspersky yesterday.

He said as consumers tend to watch companies’ digital reputation, it is important for companies to be aware of their digital presence.

“This applies to both consumers and businesses — they must be mindful and think of the repercussions of what they post online towards oneself and others’ reputation.

“Monitor the data you share, assess the company’s privacy policy and make sure to be secured as individuals and companies’ reputation can suffer due to hacking attacks. Ensure holistic security solutions are in place,” he said.

Yeo also said the government plays an important role on multiple fronts to mitigate cyberattacks which can be done by setting up the right regulatory legal framework that can recourse any threats.

He said governments must take the lead in organising a concerted effort to secure the country and all its resources.

“All the countries in South-East Asia have set up a cybersecurity response agency which will take the lead to organise the response across the entire nation. “Governments in the region also need to define what are the critical industries that need to be protected such as utility companies and financial institutions,” he commented.

He said when regulating the kind of security posture that they need to have, only then consumers and citizens can be protected.

Raising awareness across the entire nation is also vital, said Yeo, as it informs everyone on how to protect themselves against digital threats and attacks.

“Being digitally savvy is one thing, being security savvy is another. A lot of countries are sparing no effort in making sure the citizens are up to speed when it comes to digital savviness.

“At the same time, they need to make sure they are up to speed in terms of security awareness,” he said.

When asked if remaining anonymous is a method of protecting oneself from being hacked, Yeo said not necessarily but it does help as no personal information is shared.

“From our survey, some people are choosing to remain anonymous not because they are afraid of hackers, but because they want to be able to express themselves freely.

“This is how people are using anonymous accounts and it can be for good and bad. It is a double-edge sword in the digital world,” he added.