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Gemalto touts one-stop security Web site in Asia

Digital security vendor is reaching out to Asian consumers through its international Web site to create user awareness about security, particularly in mobile arena, says exec.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Gemalto is looking to reach out to Asian consumers via its international Web site to provide additional support for its "customers' customers" and educate them on basic security issues, particularly in the mobile arena.

Tim Cawsey, Gemalto's branding and corporate publications manager, said during a media briefing here Wednesday that the Web site is pitched at beginners looking to find basic answers regarding digital security and information such as "How do you create a strong password?" or "What is a 3G network?".

Cawsey added that the site, justaskgemalto.com, was first piloted in the U.S. and France in January last year to positive reviews, which pushed the digital security vendor to go global and create an international version of the Web site. This global instalment was launched toward the end of 2009.

To date, the three justaskgemalto.com sites have attracted over 1.5 million visitors, of which 100,000 visitors are from Asia, he revealed. However, he noted that this was below the region's contribution to Gemalto's revenue, of which Asia accounted for 20 percent last year. "So we're now looking to drive up the region's user count for our site," he said.

Citing more Asia-Pacific numbers, Cawsey pointed out that India--at 20,000 users-- topped the list of visitors to the security information site, while Philippines and Singapore came in second and third at 9,400 and 4,700, respectively.

Site visitors can seek out security-related information in seven categories reflecting modern lifestyle: travelling, communicating, surfing, health, personal data, buying and working, he said, noting that Asian visitors were most interested in communicating, travelling and working.

Comparatively, global statistics showed that buying, personal data and working were the top three most visited categories.

Asked why communicating is such a hot topic in the Asian region, Cawsey said: "Singapore, for example, has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world, with smartphones being rapidly adopted.

Now that they are carrying a mini-PC around and doing more mobile transactions, users are wondering if they should install antivirus software."

Furthermore, he said, a RSA survey revealed 94 percent of Internet users in five Asian countries were "anxious about security breaches" on their online banking portal, compared to the global average of 86 percent. The survey polled 4,500 respondents globally, 1,100 of whom were from five Asian countries: Singapore, Malaysia, India, China and Japan.

Users in the region also favored tips provided on the site such as "Lost my phone what about my contacts?" and "Can someone listen into the calls I make on my mobile?", Cawsey noted.

"Asia is one of the fastest growing markets when it comes to buying online and embracing digital technology. It is therefore important that consumers understand the threats to their identity, personal data and online financial transactions," he said in a separate press statement.

When quizzed on how the company is planning to further engage consumers in Asia, the executive said Gemalto will be running a series of articles on its Web site regarding online and mobile usage that will contain a regional slant. This will be rolled out over the next two to three months, after which the company will resume a one-article-per-month publishing cycle, he added.

Gemalto will also look to its regional "employees, enterprise customers and partners" to engage users and drive awareness of the site, said Cawsey. Visitors are encouraged to pose their questions on the site. These will be moderated by Gemalto staff who will post the answers "within a week, if not sooner", he said.

He revealed that the company had earlier partnered with security vendor Symantec to provide more in-depth, technical answers for its French site. Gemalto is currently talking to "banks, telcos and government bodies" in Asia to explore similar partnership opportunities, Cawsey added.

Besides the three English Web sites, Gemalto is also looking to launch a Portuguese-based Web site in Brazil later this year, he said.

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