13/08/2022

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UAE Cybersecurity Council urges group to beware e-fraud

ABU DHABI, 8th July, 2022 (WAM) — The UAE has successfully integrated the digital lifestyle into everyday living of its citizens and residents, through creating smart telecommunications and digital transformation infrastructure, further advancing its status as an inspiring model of development and digitisation.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Dr. Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the Government of the UAE, said 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 UAE Cybersecurity Council, in collaboration with its strategic partners, launched the Cyber Pulse initiative to encourage all community members to play a part in cybersecurity efforts and enhance their digital awareness, he added.

The council highlighted the importance 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.

The 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.

Al Kuwaiti noted 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 unauthorised 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.

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On the steps that must be taken by victims of e-fraud, he stressed it is important not to yield to any threats and immediately report such incidents to official authorities.

The council has identified several authorities to contact, including the Abu Dhabi Police (ADP) on its toll free number 8002626, or via SMS on 2828, as well as the Dubai Police ECrime platform, and the Al Ameen Service on its local number 8004888 or international number +9718004888, or via SMS on 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.