Officials call for caution on social media amid rise in online blackmail cases

DUBAI // Residents should be careful when using social media sites amid an increase of online blackmail cases in the past two years, officials warned. Parents should also keep an eye on their children’s social media use, speakers said during a lecture organised by Dubai’s Al Ameen Service and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. Improving the […]

DUBAI // Residents should be careful when using social media sites amid an increase of online blackmail cases in the past two years, officials warned.

Parents should also keep an eye on their children’s social media use, speakers said during a lecture organised by Dubai’s Al Ameen Service and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Improving the public’s knowledge about online blackmail is one way to combat it, said Abdelaziz Al Zarooni of the TRA.

“This is something that can affect anyone, whether young or old, because almost everyone has a smartphone,” he said. “A smartphone has become a person’s personal life. It includes everything from personal pictures, personal messages to bank details.”

“It is important that people do not share personal details or pictures with strangers.”

Most online blackmail cases in Dubai are through Facebook, he added.

Mr Al Zarooni said that it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s activities on the internet, urging all parents to instal parental control on their children’s devices.

Meanwhile, Khalil Al Ali of Al Ameen Services said it important for people to understand that everything they put online can stay there, even if they delete it.

“People have to read guidelines of sites carefully, because many clearly state that they have the authority to use them,” he said.

If people feel they are being blackmailed online, they can contact Al Ameen Service on their 24/7 free hotline at 8004888.

Al Ameen Service was launched in 2003 so that people can communicate with the authorities confidentially with any problem or concern, and callers bear no legal accountability for relaying information.​

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

Source: uae news

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