Effectiveness of Cyber Security Awareness Program for young children: A Case Study in UAE

Arwa A. Al Shamsi


Children are an important element of the community; they represent the hope of a bright future. The safety of our children is priceless. Nowadays children are using the internet on a daily basis for many reasons; playing online games, social media or even for doing their school works. The internet takes a huge part of their times and unfortunately, most of these children are not aware of online risks and how they should respond properly to online risks. Moreover, children may have unlimited access to the internet without any control or supervision. The cybercrimes are increasing year after a year and the government of UAE considers the safety of the citizens as one of the most priorities to achieve. As the safety of our children is a priority, the Ministry of Education in UAE provided a cyber security awareness program for children in order to raise their security awareness level about online risks and online best practices. The objective of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of the cyber security awareness program offered by the Ministry of Education in UAE to students aged 8 to 10 years old. This research paper methodology based on qualitative methods for collecting data in which data were collected from interviews conducted with both the trainers of the program and students who attended the program. It was found that the children may expose to different online risks and the topics included in the cyber security awareness program were effective and aligned along with possible online risks children may expose to. Both the trainers and the students agreed on the efficiency of the cyber security awareness program and students believed that the awareness program influenced their online behavior. Although the interviews provided valuable findings, the real effectiveness of the cyber security awareness program hard to be measured as it depends on how students will behave online.

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