Dubai: Dubai Police have warned students of cyberbullying, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brigadier Eid Mohammad Thani Hareb, Director of Anti-Narcotics Department at Dubai Police, said that many students in the UAE did not know the concept of cyberbullying as well as how to deal with it. “Many students live under pressure of emotional blackmail as they don’t know the meaning of cyberbullying. As a result, it negatively affects their behaviour at home and their future character,” said Brig Hareb during the national bullying prevention week campaign organised by the Ministry of Education.
“We call on educational institutes to benefit from lectures and workshops to raise awareness. We need to have events for parents and school staff to explain their role,” he added. He further said: “We call upon educational institutions to benefit from awareness workshops and lectures. We also urge [all concerned] to organise events for parents, administrators, teachers, nurses, bus supervisors, drivers, cleaners, workers in school canteens and all members of society to make them aware of their role in promoting positive values among students.”
Colonel Dr Abdul Rahman Mohammad Sharaf, deputy director of the Hemaya International Training Centre, said that with the coronavirus outbreak, students were compelled to spend most of their time at home, using their electronic devices — whether to attend their school or to spend their free time on social media platforms. “Due to COVID-19, children become victims of cyberbullying as they spend long hours using the internet. We participate in the campaign through several online lectures and how to deal with it and methods of prevention,” Col Sharaf said.
According to Col Sharaf, the lecturers will focus on how children’s internet use may expose them to cyber risks and the experts will explain the most common forms of bullying. “Dubai Police will list the channels that cyberbullies use to hunt for their victims and how students can avoid them,” Col Sharaf added. He said that lectures will explain the threats of malware and how to prevent, protect and tackle this issue, which could be detected on the children’s devices and delivered to them via video games and online advertisements.
“They will also highlight how children often get scammed by fraudsters who lure them through impersonating a relative or a friend,” he added.