Experts from the Ministry of Interior called upon young men and women of the society to be cautious and careful when using social media, modern apps and other means of electronic communication. This call aims to prevent the youth from falling prey to malicious people who search the web for gaps through which they can reach others, and then exploit and blackmail them.
The topic was discussed in the awareness-raising lectures for the female students of the Higher Colleges of Technology held in Madinat Khalifa in Abu Dhabi. The lecture comes in line with the activities of the “Learn essential lessons before you suffer their consequences” campaign launched by the Social Support Centers Department at Abu Dhabi Police; and the awareness campaign on the ethics of dealing with social networking and the importance of knowing the laws that regulate it, which is organized by the Higher Colleges of Technology, in collaboration with the Social Support Centers Department, the Law Respect Culture Bureau in the Ministry of Interior, the General Women’s Union, and the ICT Department in Abu Dhabi Police.

The experts emphasized that overexposure to strangers in social networking sites is a dangerous practice. They called upon students to protect their information and not to post any private photos, as well as to regularly change their passwords of their social media accounts.

Major Saeed Al Rashidi from the ICT Department in the Abu Dhabi Police highlighted the modern technology advantages and disadvantages. “Technology is necessary to create a modern learning process and get acquainted with the latest advances in the fields of science and knowledge. However, some people use modern technology wishing to exploit others and harm them.” He urged the students to seek advice and help from their families and even from specialists if necessary.

Major Saeed Al Rashidi reviewed the most efficient ways and methods to protect personal information and data on the internet. He said: “Online protection is simple and easy, and only requires vigilance and regular updating.” He also highlighted the importance of using anti-malware programs and seeking advice and guidance from elder people and experts in this field.

He explained the optimal way for using modern technology in social networking, and the importance of not sharing any news before verifying its credibility and accuracy; abstain from spreading rumors; and preserve the privacy of members of the society. He also highlighted the importance of preserving the reputation of governmental institutions in the country by not spreading rumors that wrong these institutions. He referred to the UAE law and the penalties stipulated under it against those who commit cybercrimes (defamation, spreading rumors, threatening and blackmailing).

For her part Captain Hanan Al Raisi, from the Social Support Centers Department, tackled the negative impacts of social networking sites that include threats and blackmailing. She also explained the proper methods by which the social support centers deal with such cases.

Adding further, she listed the main causes that lead girls in particular to fall prey to decadent people and blackmailers, as well as the different ways used to lure unsuspecting victims, which she managed to compile during her years of experience in working on such cases.

She also tackled different topics related to the increase in cyber threatening and blackmailing; the psychological and social causes behind it; the psychological features of adolescence and youth; and the procedures taken in dealing with blackmailing and threatening cases at the Social Support Centers Department.
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