Abu Dhabi: Speaking exclusively to the UAE’s official news agency, Emirates News Agency (WAM), Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the Government of the UAE has pointed out that with the rapid pace of technological development and increasing reliance on digital solutions, the world is seeing a rise in phishing attacks that target members of the community, most notably via SMS (Short Message Service), through which users are lured with prizes to click on unsecure links, and asked to share personal, credit card and other information.
The Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government stated that the UAE Cybersecurity Council, in collaboration with its strategic partners, has established the Cyber Pulse initiative to urge all community members to play a part in cybersecurity efforts and enhance their digital awareness.
The UAE Cybersecurity Council has emphasized the significance of countering various types of phishing attacks and raising the community’s awareness of suspicious online activities, while identifying the necessary steps to protect everyone against e-phishing.
These steps include;
- Always being careful about publishing private contact information on unreliable online platforms or websites
- Refraining from clicking on any unknown links sent by text message
- Keeping backup copies of personal data, updating smartphone operating systems periodically
- Following the security alerts issued by phone manufacturers, and
- Not downloading any apps from unknown sources.
Mr. Al Kuwaiti highlighted that the signs of being a victim of e-fraud include battery depletion and consumption at an abnormal rate with slower smartphone processing speeds, as well as the device performing unauthorized automated tasks, such as sending text messages to contacts or downloading additional apps, and a rise in the device’s temperature without using performance-draining apps.
Discussing about what steps victims of e-fraud could take, the Cyber Security Official emphasized that it is important not to yield to any threats and immediately report such incidents to official authorities.
Some of the Authorities who have been identified by the Council to contact include;
Abu Dhabi Police (ADP)
Toll Free No: 8002626, or via SMS on 2828
Dubai Police eCrime Platform
The Al Ameen Service
Local Number: 8004888 | International No: +971 8004888 or via SMS 4444
Those concerned can also use the “My Safe Society” smart app, launched by the UAE Public Prosecution in June 2018, contact the nearest police station or call 999 for help. Other channels include the Najeed service of Sharjah Police, which can be reached on 800151 or via SMS on 7999.