Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Kaspersky Lab have initiated a a series of interactive cybersecurity roadshows in schools in Bahrain aimed at raising awareness about the threats that await children on the Internet and effective ways to respond to them. The roadshow will continue until the 13th of March, 2018 and will target children between the age of 7 to 13.
According to a survey conducted by the Bahrain TRA, about 38% of young people in Bahrain have faced cyberbullying, which represents the biggest cyber threat to young people in the region. The second most worrying problem is the danger associated with meeting strangers online. The percentage of such encounters has significantly dropped, however it remains at an alarming 16%.
“There has never been a more important time to truly educate children about online safety and the dangers of the online world than now,” said TRA Senior Advisor of Consumer Affairs Development, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Humood Al Khalifa. “We are very happy to collaborate with Kaspersky Lab and bring the Safe Kids cybersecurity roadshow to children across schools in Bahrain. Cyberbullying in particular comes with dangerous and far-reaching implications which could impact our children’s academic performances and overall well-being.”
Amir Kanaan, Managing Director in the Middle East, Turkey and South Africa at Kaspersky Lab, said, “Children’s safety is one of the key priorities of Kaspersky Lab as a cybersecurity company. Firstly, because family well-being is something everyone is concerned about, regardless of status and origin. And secondly, only by instilling the basic principles of safe behavior online in the children of today we can make the Internet of tomorrow safer — and this, of course, is one of the main goals of our company. It is almost impossible to reach this goal without the support of governments and public organizations, so we are very glad and grateful to TRA for supporting our initiative”.
To help children avoid the threats associated with social networks, it is recommend that “friends” should only be those who are known personally. Even then, children should not publish too much personal information online — information could be used by predators if they hijack one of their friend’s accounts.
There also have been several warning signs identified that will help parents identify if their child is experiencing troubles on social media: sudden changes in mood for no apparent reason; changing the style of use of their digital device and social networks (for example, the child begins to wake up at night to go online); a sharp increase or decrease in the number of “friends” in their social network; the appearance of “friends” with a big age difference; abusive images and messages on the child’s social media page; the child deletes their page on social networks.