Dubai telecoms operator du announced today that it will team up with the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and Al Ameen Service on a cyber-blackmail awareness campaign.
"As an Internet service provider, du aims to educate users about persons who attempt to harm the reputation of others by violating their privacy by using illegally obtained information and images for financial gain," the telco said in a statement.
Cyber extortion is on the rise, according to du. Citing figures from Dubai Police, the company said registered offences were up 24%, year on year, rising from 59 in 2013 to 73 in 2014. Initial complaints also rose in the same period, from 80 to 212, representing a 165% surge.
Du pledged to support the awareness campaign by "urging caution while sharing data and photographs online, [and] reaching out to young people, teachers [and] parents".
In addition, du said it would issue advice on securing email and social media accounts, and provide solutions for data loss.
"This latest collaboration with the TRA and Al Ameen Service reaffirms du's commitment to the UAE, as we work together towards building the Dubai Smart City," said Ibrahim Al Mallouhi, vice president, Security Operations, du.
"Online security continues to be a significant aspect of telecommunications, and the onus of responsibility is shifting onto individuals with respect to the information they choose to share online, and through what means. In line with du's Be Safe campaign, launched last year, it is vital to ensure the complete cyber security of our customers by educating them about their personal responsibility for Internet security, in addition to providing the best-in-breed security services."