The Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), recently organised a series of activities, workshops and social media awareness campaigns, to raise public awareness of cyber safety.
The events were rolled out over a period of 50 days following their announcement on February 10 during a joint press conference at Expo 2020 Dubai, held in collaboration with Khalifa Empowerment Programme (Aqdar) to mark Safer Internet Day.
The CSD events included a debate on cyber safety between two groups of the department’s Cyber Safety Ambassadors under the supervision of online and digital safety experts. The discussion covered safe internet usage and the role of families in ensuring the cyber safety of their children, among other topics.
CSD also organised three informational workshops led by Nahla Hamdan Al Saadi, Head of Programmes and Events at CSD, in cooperation with Aqdar and the Emirates Schools Establishment.
Held via Zoom, the workshops targeted 10,008 participants including Grade 2 and 3 students of private and public schools across the UAE as well as parents. Attendees learned about the importance of safeguarding private information, personal social media accounts, and the steps families can take to ensure the safety of their children online.
As part of an online cyber security campaign, CSD shared educational content specially designed for social media users, including creative videos with awareness messages.
Hanadi Al Yafei, Director of CSD, said Safer Internet Day was a key opportunity to draw the attention of children and families to the double-edged nature of the internet. She noted that if used safely, the internet could prove an invaluable source of knowledge. On the other hand, she added, time spent online should be monitored and limited to ensure that children have time to socialise with their peers and community.
She said: “Our participation in Safer Internet Day reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of SCFA, to protect the mental and physical wellbeing of children in all areas of life. It is a central pillar of CSD’s mission to guarantee the safety and security of the younger generations online, particularly in light of the fact that they live a heavily technology-driven existence.”