UAE-based hearing-impaired teen hosts cybersecurity workshop in sign language

Rashid Al Ketbi-Supplied photo
Rashid Al Ketbi-Supplied photo

Dubai - Using sign language, Al Katbi highlighted ways to protect cyber accounts from being hacked.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Sat 27 Feb 2021, 7:53 PM

Eighteen-year old Rashid Al Katbi, hosted an awareness workshop on cyber security in sign language in collaboration with the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services.

The hearing-impaired student at Al Amal School for the Deaf in Sharjah, presented the workshop to his peers and classmates as part of the Cyber Safety Ambassadors initiative — launched by the Child Safety Department (CSD) in Sharjah to equip Sharjah’s children and youth (in the age group 10 to 18 years) with the skills and training required to guide their peers towards best practices in cyber safety.

During the virtually held session, Al Katbi explained that cybersecurity refers to technologies and practices that protect computers, smart tablets, gaming consoles networks and online data from virtual attacks or unauthorised access. He pointed out that cyber attacks often involve the theft of valuable information, sensitive data and personal identity.

Using sign language, Al Katbi highlighted ways to protect cyber accounts from being hacked, by suggesting the use of strong passwords of at least eight characters, including capital letters, numbers, and symbols.

He advised participants not to use their real names or share their location online, and to never disclose any private or personal information to strangers, or use the camera while playing online games with strangers.

During the session, the young boy also highlighted the main differences between bullying and cyberbullying. Al Katbi explained in signs that the latter is a deliberate abusive behaviour that targets victims electronically by sending abusive or unsolicited comments or sharing a victim’s picture online.

He hinted that bullying in the real world may not be as widespread, and is often in the form of face-to-face interactions, indicating that bullies know their victims well.

Al Katbi advised victims of cyberbullying to talk to the bully and politely ask him/her to stop. If that fails, he added, the individual must ignore abusive messages and block the particular account. If the bullying continues, he advised, screenshots should be taken of the abusive messages and the incident must be reported to the teacher or the school’s social worker or guidance counsellor, and parents.

Al Katbi cautioned students to be wary of attempts to lure or trick them into a hack. Cyber criminals use various tactics such as free gifts and advice to lure young users which may lead to cyber crimes that involve stealing money or exploiting user information.

He pointed out that cybercrimes can also be carried out through spyware or fake social media accounts and spam emails, in addition to phishing attacks using clickbait hyperlinks through advertising content on websites and applications.

Al Katbi strongly advised his peers to inform their parents about such incidents, and reporting blackmail and hacking attempts and other cyber attacks to relevant authorities in the UAE.

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