hacker, hacking, cyber attack, cyber crime
Officials have also advised turning down a request from an online ‘friend’ to meet in person. Image used for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: To protect children from exploitation, the Ministry of Interior has launched the ‘Hemayati’ (My Protection) campaign to curb the phenomena of unknown persons luring young internet users with friendship requests.

Represented by the Child Protection Centre, the Ministry’s campaign explains that online 'grooming' or luring is when a person tries to build a close relationship with a child with the aim of exploiting him or her later.

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The campaign, held under the slogan ‘Together for a safer Internet for our children’, warns against accepting a request from an online ‘friend’ to meet in person.

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The awareness initiative also tackles cyberbullying, electronic piracy and other risks. It calls for parental supervision of children’s online activities, setting up strong passwords, installing antivirus protection and updates to software and applications, date and location tracking systems and monitoring e-shopping activities by children.

How to protect children online
Keep webcams covered when not in use
For younger children, use tools such as parental controls and safe search
Be cautious of free online resources, including educational ones
If your child is asked to provide a photo or their full name, be sure it is a trusted website

In conjunction with the campaign, the General Department of Relations and Protocol at the Ministry of Interior recently organised the second security community forum, calling for enhancing the integration of efforts by national and community institutions and state agencies to combat cybercrimes against children.

Participants of the forum Image Credit: X/@moiuae

The ongoing campaign was launched coinciding with Safer Internet Day last month.

The forum also played an explanatory video of the Hemayati app, which explains the mechanisms for enhancing child protection and family communication. Two sessions were held at the forum, the first of which was presented by the Chief of the Family and Children’s Prosecution in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Counsellor Alia Mohammed Al Kaabi, followed by the second session presented by the Chief Prosecutor of Baniyas College, General Counsel Karama Al Amiri.

Counsellor Alia Mohammed Al Kaabi (centre) addressing the forum Image Credit: X/@moiuae

The forum witnessed the participation of 200 students and staff from applied technology colleges and schools, Abu Dhabi Family Welfare Authority, and officers of the Ministry of Interior.