Philippine consumers report the highest level of concern about security issues among the 13 countries surveyed in the latest 2018 Unisys Security Index™, the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally. The top areas of concern for Filipinos are identity theft, natural disasters and credit card fraud.

The 2018 Unisys Security Index for the Philippines is 232 on a scale of 0 to 300, considered a serious level of concern and 59 points (34 percent) higher than the global average. Even so, the Philippine index fell 11 points since 2017, with decreases across all areas of security issues. The Philippines, Colombia and Mexico are the only countries where concern about natural disasters ranks in the top three.

Top three security concerns for Filipinos in 2018:

– Identity Theft: 88 percent of Filipinos are extremely or very concerned about unauthorized access to, or misuse of, personal information.

– Natural Disaster or Epidemic: 87 percent of Filipinos are concerned about these issues.

– Bank Card Fraud: 86 percent of Filipinos are concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details.

Younger Filipinos aged 18-24 years are more concerned than those over 55, women are more concerned than men and those on lower incomes are more concerned than those on higher incomes. People in Luzon, where Manila and Quezon City are located, are the most concerned, recording an index of 234; while people in the Visayas region are the least concerned (an index of 228).

“Filipinos face a challenging combination of data and physical security issues, reflected in the highest Unisys Security Index globally. Filipinos are very aware of the global cybersecurity issues such as identity theft and credit card fraud. But they also regularly face local natural disasters such as the recent Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which endanger lives and impact the delivery of critical services,” said Lysandra Schmutter, vice president for Public Sector, Unisys Asia Pacific.

Data Security Concerns Inhibit Digital Identity Adoption

This year’s study also examined how comfortable Filipinos are with using various forms of digital identity to verify a person’s identity to access services online and offline. It found that, overall, Filipinos are more comfortable using digital identities than the other Asia Pacific nations in the survey: Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand. The study also revealed that they are more comfortable using digital identities to interact with government organisations than with commercial or financial services providers.

Filipinos are most comfortable with biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial scans, when used to verify passenger identities at airports (87 percent of respondents). The majority of Filipinos also are comfortable using a single user ID and authentication to access multiple government services (76 percent) or to access services from different financial service providers (62 percent). Similarly, 70 percent are comfortable with a centralized electronic health record. The top reason given by those not comfortable using digital identities is concern about data security.

“The high degree of willingness to embrace digital identities in the Philippines may be driven in part by the need to quickly access services following natural disasters. Given that Filipinos are also concerned about identity theft and bankcard fraud, biometric identifiers such as fingerprints or facial scans offer an accurate and secure way of authorizing someone’s identity so that they can access the services they need, even if all of their identity papers have been destroyed,” said Ms Schmutter.