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Millennials are Less Concerned About Data Security Risk But Gen X and baby boomers are unforgiving when it comes to security, finds APAC study

By Pooja Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Despite being the mobile-first generation, millennials don't care much about data security risks, especially those in the Asia-Pacific region.

A recent study has found that less than half (44 per cent) of those aged 18-34 in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore prioritize functionality of an app over its security features. Gen X (those aged 35-54; 53 per cent) and baby boomers (those aged 55 and above; 69 per cent), on the other hand, choose security over the convenience and functionality of an app.

The study, "The Curve of Convenience: The Trade-off Between Security And Convenience", which was conducted by US-based technology company F5 Networks in collaboration with UK's market research firm YouGov, surveyed over 3,700 respondents across the seven Asia-Pacific countries.

It said that while millennials were aware of the risks of potential data security, they are less likely to be concerned about them. Thirty-two per cent of them said they will continue to use an app even when data security is compromised.

With millennials currently comprising 25 per cent of the total workforce population in the Asia Pacific region and expected to rise to 50 per cent by 2020, this survey serves as an essential reference point for founders looking for potential employees, as well as for developers looking to create new application for businesses.

For any app user, there's always a decision to make between convenience and security. This survey shows that most users aged 35 and above recognize the importance of secured data. Three in five respondents said that they will stop using an app if the security of data is compromised.

What's more, 46 per cent said in the next five years a more secured phone experience would be the biggest factor in enhancing their digital experience.

Present and Future Tense

In today's digital world, apps could be the key to achieve success for any business. In fact, 93 per cent of Fortune 100 companies offer apps, informs the "The Curve of Convenience" survey. It adds that the Asia-Pacific region will see 4.7 billion mobile subscribers and 187 billion app downloads in the region.

But at present, less than half of the consumers are satisfied with their app experiences. Fifty per cent of Hong Kong users are less satisfied with app features than rest of the Asia-Pacific population, while Filipinos are 22% more likely to be satisfied with app features compared to the rest of the region.

When it comes to embracing new technologies, users across Asia-Pacific are generally more conservative and looking for more secured experiences.

Country-wise, the survey found that Singaporean users are "very conservative", that is, they are 16% less excited than the Asia Pacific average for a futuristic app feature. The Chinese, however, are the most advanced, with 72 per cent more likely to want "digital realities" in the next five decades. Overall, only 16% are keen to explore new technologies such as augmented reality or virtual reality.

Security First

In the past six months, about 135 million users have had their data compromised via social networks, says the survey. Still, 60 per cent continue to use Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other social media networks several times a day. The love for social media is so strong that these networks are No.2 most trusted app type in Asia Pacific.

Apps and social media might be the way forward for companies and people alike, but millennials need to understand the perils of data security breach, as it could put others at risk too.

Pooja Singh

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific


A stickler for details, Pooja Singh likes telling people stories. She has previously worked with Mint-Hindustan Times, Down To Earth and Asian News International-Reuters. 

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