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Software piracy rates continue to dip in Singapore

Unlicensed software installation rates in Singapore fell by 1 percentage point to 32% last year, from 33% in 2011.

SINGAPORE: Unlicensed software installation rates in Singapore continued to dip in 2013. This is according to the latest biennial BSA Global Software Survey. It also shows that Singapore has the fourth lowest rates in the Asia Pacific.

The survey is conducted by International Data Corporation Asia/Pacific on behalf of the Business Software Alliance. Unlicensed software installation rates in Singapore fell by 1 percentage point to 32% last year, from 33% in 2011. 

In the Asia Pacific, only Japan, New Zealand and Australia had lower rates of piracy in 2013.

The average across the region was 62%, driven by increased usage of personal computers in emerging economies. This is compared to 60% in 2011.

According to the survey, one key reason for not using unlicensed software is the growing concern over security threats arising from malware and hackers.

Victor Lim, Vice President of IDC's Asia/Pacific Consulting Operations Group, said: "They are getting more sophisticated. Concerns about confidentiality, loss of personal information, your bank account being hacked, loss of your client's information - are driving more and more companies and consumers to use more licensed software, because licensed software comes with an appropriate level of support and security and it gets patched very quickly."

Technology trends are another factor. The growing use of smartphones and tablets is also helping to depress piracy rates, as more people switch from PCs to mobile devices.

Despite the high level of awareness in Singapore about cyber security, Business Software Alliance said that companies could do more to tighten their software controls.

Roland Chan, Business Software Alliance's Asia-Pacific senior director of compliance programmes, said: "The key would be for organisations to think about implementing a software asset management practice and policy to ensure that you are not only managing your software properly, but you also know where you are using software, whether it is the right thing to do and to make sure that there is a continuity plan, there is a proper plan on procurement, there is a proper plan on tracking software."

The BSA Global Software Survey is conducted biennially by IDC. It polls computer users across the world on issues regarding software licensing and intellectual properties. 

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