By Helen Gaskell
Country is second most hit victim in the Middle East and 15th worldwide
The UAE is the second most attacked country online in the Middle East, according to study by Kaspersky Lab.
Speaking at a conference to announce the launch of Kaspersky Total Security, Mohammad Amin Hasbini, senior security researcher, Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), Kaspersky Lab Middle East, Turkey and Africa, highlighted the issue of cybercrime and bullying and added that the UAE is the 15th most attacked country worldwide.
According to the study conducted by Kaspersky lab and B2B international in the UAE, 40 percent of parents said they are worried about cyberbullying, and 48 percent reported they had intervened to protect their child from being cyberbullied. Another study called "children online" found that more than half of young users in the UAE encountered adult content; over 22 percent landed on websites dedicated to gambling; and every sixth user stumbled across sites featuring weapons.
Dr. Samineh Shaheem, Assistant Professor of Psychology and founder of "Bolt down on bullying" campaign, said: "Our children are exposed to so much content online, the internet has many wonderful benefits but there are issues and concerns which we can't turn a blind eye to. Previously when we didn't have the internet we thought our children we safe at home but now with a device in their hand they have access to an entire world that might be dangerous."
The recent research shows an average household now has more than five connected devices and it is not just children who are at risk. Early this year, Kaspersky Lab experts alerted users about malware delivered through politically-oriented news or social networking forums using social engineering tactics to gain full access and control over the victim's devices and files.
Users should also be aware of threats aimed at exploiting mobile gamers, for instance, the popular "Gomal Trojan" was known to be camouflaged as an innocent game of tic-tac-toe. The game carried within it spyware functionality to record sounds, process calls and steal SMS information. With 92 percent of users in the UAE reported to trust their computers and smartphones to store both corporate, personal and financial data, the malware could easily lead to financial or identity theft.
Ovanes Mikhailov, managing director, Kaspersky Lab Middle East said: "Families today need mutli-platform solutions that integrate a full range of features and tools that allow them to provide comprehensive protection from all these vulnerabilities without the hassle of managing and operating disparate, individual consoles. Kaspersky Total Security can help protect not just their information but also safeguard their children.
"The solution enables comprehensive, multi layered protection across a range of devices allowing real time protection and monitoring of the cyber landscape and related cyber activity. To help parents better protect their children the solution comes with a parental control feature that can limit the number of hours children spend online in addition to monitoring activity online and on social media platforms,".
This is exactly why we launched Beat The Cyberbully (www.beatthecyberbully.ae) in the region. To help increase awareness and education levels for students, parents and teachers when it comes to the digital environment and the massive role your online reputation now plays in life. Software is only part of the solution. How and why you are using the software is essential to it performing for you.