The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced the participation of the UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) in the international ‘Safer Internet Day’ (SID) on March 11th by hosting a series of workshops attended by more than 300 students from 16 public schools in Dubai. The five day event was hosted by Al Salam School in Dubai under the theme “Society without Internet Threats” and aimed to reduce the spread of cyber-crimes.
“Through organising this initiative we aim to raise awareness and educate students on how to best use modern technology and critically, how to do so in the safest possible way. Staging CSR events such as these are a priority for the TRA as we accelerate efforts to establish a safe internet society both here in the UAE and further afield,” commented Eng. Meshal Abdulla Bin Hussain, aeCERT Operations Manager.
“Evidently the nation’s youth is very well accustomed with the Internet. Whether they are using it for their academic work or simply to connect with friends via social media, it is paramount that we generate an informed culture of safety where students are fully aware of how to protect their information and privacy online. In this regard we must all coordinate our efforts to generate awareness starting with the family and this event certainly came into being with that in mind,” he added.
Considered a first of its kind to be held in a UAE public school, the initiative launched by aeCERT seeks to educate both students and parents on safe internet practices. The discussion during the workshops reviewed key precautionary steps for optimal protection online including: tips on creating a strong passwords and keeping them confidential; placing the family computer in the common living area; saving private data and a brief on the process of installing parental controls and filtering software.
To ensure the success of this event, the aeCERT team coordinated efforts directly with the school administration to identify the most important issues to be covered in the program. The event shed light on the potential dangers resulting from children having an online presence including cyber bullying, information privacy, cyber-crime and communication with strangers.