"ABU DHABI // A significant proportion of UAE residents have been victims of online hacking, fraud or identity theft, a new survey indicates.These have to be the most skewed statistics ever represented... To suggest that the UAE suffers from 3 times more cases of identity theft than the US is preposterous.
Of 751 residents questioned for Al Aan TV’s Nabd al Arab (“Arabs’ Pulse”) programme by YouGov Siraj, 24 per cent had been victims of hacking, 13pc of identity theft and 22pc of online fraud.
The result is widespread concern about the risks of social networks, with two in five (40pc) saying they were somewhat or extremely unsafe.
Perhaps because it is the most widely used, Facebook is also the site about which there are most safety concerns, with a third (35pc) of respondents saying it was the least safe social network.
And 42pc of respondents were concerned that Facebook’s new facial recognition feature posed a “big security risk”." --more here:
What on earth is 'online fraud'? How on earth can 22 percent of people be victim to online fraud? I just don't understand how that is even possible to suggest that almost a quarter of the population have been defrauded online.
I refuse to trust these statistics as being anywhere near accurate, however, I will state that most people in the UAE are completely unaware of any form of any internet security and refuse to adapt to the 21st century.
Most of the group of people that answered "yes" to being a victim of hacking are going to be the sort that install all manner of free, pirated crap of the internet and then cry wolf when they get a thousand pop-ups on their computer. That isn't even hacking.
As a computer-savvy person I often find myself being asked to reinstall Windows for people; I tell them to buy a proper copy so they get updates, but no one wants to buy it. I know dozens of people who rely on free anti virus services (mostly AVG antivirus which is to put it frankly crap), literally no one will spend around 200 dirhams on an antivirus suite. What happens when your computer gets filled with crap and all of your passwords are stolen by a Romanian trojan virus? Call me, I'll fix it for you, and then you won't spend any money to solve the problem and you'll have the same problem again in 6 months.
The reason that people feel they are victim to so much in the UAE is their complete naivety and unwillingness to adapt to the 21st century. If you take 10 minutes a day and read the news you will understand the grave privacy and security concerns that face everyone today and you will learn to change your habits.
It is ridiculous to see just how naive people are in this country, you have a good chance of convincing almost anyone in the UAE that Etisalat has awarded them 500,000 AED in a competition and all they need to do is go and buy 50,000 AED worth of phone credit and patch it through to you.
Recently, an encrypted form of one of my passwords was leaked online via a hack of the Gawker Media network (who, for the record are complete idiots) as a result all of my passwords on the internet have been changed and I upped my security 'policies' on everything I do. To give you a clue of what a proper password looks like, here is one that I used on a recently decommissioned web server:
I'm pretty fed up of how ridiculous the situation in the UAE is so here is...
My guide to security and privacy for people who do lots of stuff online:
-Buy Windows and stop being a cheap-ass (if you can't afford it then get Linux which is free), buy an anti-virus and firewall suite which is good (nothing under the brand of Norton, AVG or McAffee)
-If you trust your entire computer security on a 200 AED router then you're getting what you pay for; I run an entire computer just to act as a router and firewall for my internet connection and I never have any issues with hacking at all, as we speak a bunch of people I pissed off online have been trying to scan my computer for the past week and have had no luck at all.
-If you want to do sensitive things online where you would like a barrier between you and whatever service you are using, then buy a VPS; it takes 10 minutes to set up and can cost as low as 6$ US. This is also important as a storage facility to store stuff you value outside of where you live; that way if your house burns down tomorrow, everything you need is located in some random data centre in the Netherlands.
-Buy a password manager, lastpass is a great service that costs 12$ US a year; this allows you to generate passwords and save them for automatic logon as well as store secure information. You can also use this on your mobile phone. It is also great because if your house burns down tomorrow all of your passwords are still on it (I should note however, that your passwords are stored on this service in encrypted form, you have to unlock them locally with your own password)
-Don't let idiots use your computer and download and install shit, put a password on it and hit people who use it.
-If you don't trust people to not use your computer then store sensitive files inside an encrypted folder, you can use software such as TrueCrypt to achieve this.
-Use Gmail or activate Google Apps on your domain, it blocks out 99.9% of the stupid online scam shit that wastes your time; if you don't use gmail in this day and age then you may as well disconnect your modem and throw it out the wall, every single other email service is absolutely terrible. Never, ever use your company email address for personal stuff.
-Buy AdMuncher Premium, it costs around 40$ US and blocks all forms of advertisements on your computer (including those on YouTube or anywhere else), this also subsequently blocks a lot of stupid shit which can cause you problems. When I use the internet I literally do not see any advertisements at all. Ever.
-If you are going to use Facebook then make your profile completely private and make yourself aware of what you are posting using it.
-If you are going to write stuff online be aware of how it is indexed far and wide on the internet and that even when you delete content it may take weeks, months or years for it to disappear.
-If you don't want to give out your phone number online then there are a number of services you can register with online to get a phone number located in another country for as little as 1$ US per month
-Make sure you keep a current mobile number with your bank and activate any facility that informs you of account activity; they send these messages instantly and you will know straight away if your bank account information has fallen into the wrong hands.
-Don't believe anyone who emails you or telephones you. Ever. You haven't wont half a million dirhams.
-If you see free shit online, there's a reason it is free and that is because it is full of viruses.
-Never, ever give out your passwords to bank staff or anyone, if they do ask you for them then you are allowed by law to shout at them and report them to their supervisors.
-If you are on a mac you are still at just as much risk as anyone else so take proper precautions.
Overall, if you are serious about your security and privacy it may cost as much as 200$ US a year, but it is money well spent.