Friday, 4 September 2015

For Many, Internet Access Is the Issue

Recently, we’ve highlighted the insecurity and censorship faced by internet users in Venezuela, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Nigeria. What we haven’t mentioned is what makes these users quite fortunate: the fact that they have access to the internet at all.

A Pew Research Center study of 32 emerging and developing nations clarifies just how inaccessible the internet is for much of the world’s population.

Internet access, emerging markets, developing world,
[Source: Pew Research Center]
Of note:

  • Only 11% of Bangladesh’s population accesses the internet occasionally or owns a smartphone.
  • 91% of Egyptian adults own cell phones, but only 25% of those are smartphones. 
  • Only 3% of Uganda’s adult population has a working computer at home.

In spite of and because of such low rates of internet penetration, growth in regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East has far outpaced that in Europe, North America or Australia in the last 15 years and is on track to continue. As such, governments, corporations and NGOs—including those in the developed world—are anxiously and entrepreneurially looking to get the ‘next billion’ online.

As the potential for universal access to the internet becomes a reality, SumRando Cybersecurity asks users to be aware of what has come before and what will likely continue: laws that infringe upon basic privacy rights; access to some websites but not others; and an endless supply of email phishing, malware, stolen passwords and data breaches.

Be informed, surf secure and stay Rando!

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