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UAE joins global efforts to promote safer web use


ICDL GCC Foundation and Ministry of Interior to teach responsible use of digital technology for Safer Internet Day


February 11, 2014 6:29 by

The UAE Ministry of Interior, represented by the Higher Committee for Child Protection, today partnered with the ICDL GCC Foundation to support 2014 Safer Internet Day, an annual global campaign promoting the responsible use of digital technology.

Ahead of the event, Rania Al Qaisi, regional manager of business affairs at ICDL GCC Foundation, which is part of a global computer literacy initiative, said:“We will be distributing tens of thousands of copies of guides to school students that provide 101 tips for using the internet safely.”According to her, the guidebooks provide information on using social media and other smart technology for the students themselves, but they alsotarget the parents.

In 2013, the foundation published results from a study that revealed that 95 per cent of school students (between the ages of 14 and 18) are active on social media, and one in two respondents had faced some form of online threat from cyber bullying and identity theft to harassment.

In an interview with Kippreport, Al Qaisi says, “We know the most popular platforms are Twitter and Facebook, as well as [channels for] chatting and gaming. Abuse can get to kids through any of these platforms, even games where people pretend to be another player and help them to get to a higher level.” Communication with educational authorities reveal that children are also receiving obscene material on their smartphones, she adds.

The foundation also has a pilot project in place in partnership with the Dubai Educational Zone to train teachers and principals of public schools over the upcoming spring break. “Our objective is to make schools aware of their role [in tackling this issue],” says Al Qaisi, addingthat implementing such programmes will give teachers the knowledge and skills they need to take action if they come across such issues.

In a statement, major-general Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, secretary general of the office of His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan,Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, says: “We all need to develop and practise safe, legal and ethical behaviours in this age of digital technologies. We also need to spread awareness to be able to effectively address privacy protection issues.”

Safer Internet Day, which is organised by Insafe – a network of ‘European Safer Internet Centres’ – is celebrated in more than 100 countries under the theme ‘let’s create a better internet together’.





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