Ajman University Warns against Cyberbullying
Monday, Feb 10, 2020
While over 60 per cent of three to four-year-old children in the UAE have smartphones, up to 23 per cent of them have visited spam sites.
This was announced by Dr. Anwar Hamim Bin Saleem, General Manager, Higher Innovation Center, as part of a workshop he presented in Ajman University (AU) on cyberbullying. “Over 80% of teens in the UAE use mobile phones on a regular basis.”
Quoting Kaspersky Lab, he said that the academic performance of 64 per cent of the students cyberbullied have been negatively affected. “They no more like to play online, and feel scared and insecure,” he quoted Kaspersky Lab.
Dr Bin Saleem said one in three or more students, aging 12 to 15, suffers regular bullying worldwide. “In 2017, 70 per cent of the children were cyberbullied in Malaysia, while the rate increased in Europe from 10 per cent in 2010 to 12 per cent in 2014.”
Dr. Abdulhaq Al-Nuaimi, Vice-Chancellor for Communication and Community Affairs, said cyberbullying has become one of the big concerns to all schools, parents, and students. “It is the responsibility of all entities to enlighten the public about the hazards of this phenomenon and come up with the right solutions.”
Warning, Dr Bin Saleem said bullying victims develop less self-esteem and require more mental health services throughout life. “A child is bullied somewhere in the world every seven minutes.”
Bullying was blamed for the absence of around 160,000 children in the States, according to the National Crime Prevention Council, US, he disclosed. “Bullying victims are two to nine times more likely to think about committing suicide.”
Bullying is the third main reason for youth deaths; 4,400 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US, Dr Bin Saleem said. “At least half of youth suicides are associated with bullying in Britain.”
As per Article 21 of the UAE Federal Decree Law 5/2012, cybercrimes are punishable by a jail term of at least six months and/or a fine not less than Dh150,000 and not exceeding Dh500,000, he explained.
“All types of cyberbullying or cybercrimes should be reported to toll free (999), or online at (eCrime) (www.ecrime.ae), (aeCERT) 80012, or Interior Ministry toll (116111).”
Teachers and educators should be trained to ensure children digital safety, he urged. “Parents should talk and listen more to their children, and develop their awareness about such cybercrimes.”