Image: Saj Shafique (unsplash)
Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, the Sharjah Police Chief, emphasized the significance of initiating preventive measures to safeguard society from diverse cyber threats.
This emphasis was made during Major General Al Shamsi’s visit, alongside several high-ranking officers, to the “Be Aware” initiative. This initiative was spearheaded by the Departments of Criminal Investigation, Media, and Public Relations with the intent to educate the masses on potential threats like fraud and electronic blackmail. Their method of dissemination was unique, involving the broadcasting of their messages on cinema screens, particularly in collaboration with “Fox Cinema”.
The Sharjah Police Chief pointed out that the awareness campaign underlined the critical role of preventive steps in tackling cyber threats. He commended the dedication of the Sharjah Police’s Criminal Investigations Department for their role in coordinating the campaign.
He also mentioned future plans for the platform, indicating its transfer to various educational institutions within the emirate to maximize its impact. Moreover, there will be ongoing assessments of its results to discern avenues of enhancing its efficiency for the community’s benefit.
Colonel Omar Ahmed Abu Al Zoud, the Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigations Department at Sharjah Police, shed light on the concerning increase in cyber incidents. The figures for the first half of this year revealed 351 cyber-related reports, a stark contrast to the 117 from the same timeframe the previous year. Furthermore, electronic fraud appeared to be a predominant concern, with instances surging from 11 to 60 in a year.
Colonel Abu Al Zoud elucidated the “Be Aware” initiative’s structure. This digital pathway comprised six stations, each addressing specific e-threats, starting with electronic blackmail, progressing to hacking, and culminating in the topic of electronic games which has gained traction among the youth.
Sharjah Police urged the community to remain vigilant against threats or intimidations from potential fraudsters. They encouraged the public to promptly report any suspicious activities either through their official website or via their designated contact numbers, including a specific line set aside for emergencies.