UAE – Cyber bullying, online harassment and internet threats are some of the major concerns for parents, teachers and government authorities with easy access to the internet and smart devices. It has become critical to take stringent measures to ensure children are protected from such cyber threats while continuing to enjoy the benefits of the online world. As part of efforts to protect children from online threats and bullying, ICDL Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certificate program in Egypt, GCC States and Iraq, in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Centre, recently distributed ‘101 Tips of Cyber Safety’ in schools across the country and the region.
ICDL Arabia is working with education authorities and schools to educate teachers, parents and students on cyber safety precautionary measures. In line with this, many engaging workshops for parents are being held during PTA meetings in schools to inform them about the significance of their role in protecting children from cyber threats. During these PTA’s, parents get to understand the Internet usage habits of children, the potential dangers of cyber space, and techniques to prevent cyber problems as well as to detect behavioural changes and how to take necessary action. ICDL Arabia plans to visit nearly 250 schools in 2016 to spread awareness on cyber safety among students, teachers and parents.
Furthermore ICDL has released its Cyber Safety Report 2015, first-of-its-kind providing extensive research on online threats faced by Emirati school children. The study brings to light that cyber bullying is one of the most common forms of cyber threats facing children, most of them were unaware about the laws against it. Nearly 60 per cent of surveyed youths admitted to the presence of cyber bullying among their peers; Over 54 per cent were not aware that cyber bullying is a crime punishable by law; while 26 per cent felt that parents and teachers could not assist them when faced such a problem.
Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL Arabia, said: “Cyber bullying is a common threat that can impact a child’s self-confidence. Awareness is our best defence now it is up to parents and teachers to monitor their children’s online activities and teach them about the safe use of the Internet to avoid risks or problems as well as urge them to speak about any form of cyber abuse they face. The ‘101 Tips of Cyber Safety’ guide is an informative handbook that teachers can use to educate students about online safety measures. ICDL Arabia will continue its endeavour to raise awareness about online threats and how to keep children protected.”
‘101 Tips of Cyber Safety’ is available for free in Arabic and English in the accredited schools for ICDL Arabia, and can be also downloaded from ICDL Arabia website: www.icdlarabia.org.