Philippines ranks 63rd in inclusive internet index

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Philippines ranks 63rd in inclusive internet index
The 2020 Index assesses internet availability, affordability, relevance and readiness using 56 indicators.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked 63rd out of 100 countries in the 2020 Inclusive Internet Index conducted by the UK-based The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Facebook.

The 2020 Index assesses internet availability, affordability, relevance and readiness using 56 indicators.

The Philippines obtained an overall ranking of 63rd, and 19th out of 26 nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

It ranked 57th in the area of availability; 82nd in affordability; 59th in relevance and 59th in readiness.

“The Philippines is among Asia’s weaker countries in advancing internet inclusion, ranking 19th out of 26 nations in the region. Affordability levels of smartphones and mobile data are low in the global context, and mobile users are burdened by relatively slow download and upload speeds,” the report said.

In terms of internet availability, the country obtained the following rankings: usage (57th); quality (73rd); infrastructure (51st) and electricity (66th).

“This category examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access to and levels of internet usage,” the EIU report said.

Under the sub-category infrastructure, the country ranked 78th in terms of the population covered by 2G or second-generation cellular network; 65th (3G); 59th (4G) and 59th in 5G deployment.

The Philippines, however, ranked first with regard to the initiatives of the government and the private sector to make WiFi available.

The country ranked 62nd in terms of the number of internet users; 68th in fixed-line broadband subscribers and 58th in mobile subscribers.

In terms of the quality of experience the connected population receives while using the internet, the Philippines ranked 39th in average fixed broadband upload speed; 59th in average fixed broadband download; 58th in average fixed broadband latency; 90th in average mobile upload speed; 71st in average mobile download speed; 75th in average mobile latency and 69th in bandwidth capacity.

The survey was topped by Sweden, New Zealand, United States, Australia, Denmark, South Korea, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain.

The survey polled 4,953 respondents around the world who were asked about how they use the internet to manage their finances. 

The poll covered 100 countries, representing 91 percent of the world’s population and 96 percent of global gross domestic product or GDP, the EIU said.

Web threat

The Philippines also ranked fourth among countries most attacked by web threats worldwide for 2019, according to a global ranking of countries with the highest web threat detections from January to December 2019 by cyber security giant Kaspersky.

Data from the Kaspersky Security Network for the past year showed the cybersecurity company’s technologies monitored and prevented nearly 28 million internet-borne attacks against Kaspersky users in the Philippines.

This accounts for 44.40 percent of Kaspersky users in the country that encountered web threats in 12 months in 2019, where 26.62 percent were individual users and 7.58 percent were business users.

The Philippines trailed behind the top three countries: Nepal, with 51.4 percent of users attacked by web-borne threats; Algeria with 51 percent and Albania, 46.1 percent.

The Philippines ranked 11th in the same world ranking conducted by Kaspersky in 2018.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines led the top three countries with the highest number of detections, followed by Malaysia at 13th and Vietnam at 17th. 

Kaspersky said a browser attack is still the top method for infecting web surfers.

Users in the Philippines continue to be attempted to be attacked by cybercriminals through popular attack techniques such as drive-by download and social engineering.

Drive-by download happens when an internet user visits a website that he or she didn’t know is infected and which installs malware directly onto the user’s computer. Vulnerable computers are those with operating systems, applications or web browsers that are not updated, thus containing security flaws.

Attempts to infect computers of Kaspersky users in the Philippines are done through social engineering where a cybercriminal exploits a user’s lack of knowledge. Disguised as friends, families or IT support personnel, cybercriminals convince a clueless user to disclose his/her confidential data. With the information, a cybercrook will gain access to multiple networks, infect the user’s computers with malware or prompt the user to open links to infected websites. 

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