x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cybercrime: ugly face of social media

Use of social media is one factor behind the growth of cybercrime in the Middle East, according to online experts.

Social media have emerged as a major factor in the growth of cybercrime in the Middle East, online experts say.

"Users are volunteering their personal details and private information like never before, and that creates a whole new set of problems like identity theft and disclosures of confidential information," said Yousef Tuqan Tuqan, the chief executive of the digital agency Flip Media in Dubai.

"The lines between our public and private lives are becoming increasingly blurred, and apart from the need to be careful about credit card transactions, individuals must also be vigilant about how and where they divulge personal information on social networks and public forums."

Omar Kassim, the founder of the retail portal JadoPado, based in Dubai, said consumers should try to keep an eye on their credit cards when making payments in outlets and restaurants.

Mr Kassim said his website had experienced some illegal activities, which he reported to the police.

"We had some fraudulent transactions take place on our site.

"There are people trying out different [credit] cards and so on," he said.

"It's a very small percentage of all the volume that comes through," he added.

"The Dubai CID … told us that their cybercrime unit deals with five to six new cases a day."

 

bflanagan@thenational.ae