Companies in UAE urged to let employees network online
Firms in the UAE should not block their staff from accessing social networking sites or any open websites, a senior IT specialist has said.
Instead, he urged them to implement design policies aimed at preventing abuse.
Social media has become part of everyday life for many people, both personally and professionally and Ali Hassan Awadallah, project manager for Cyber C3 in UAE, said this means people will find alternative ways of accessing sites if employers block them.
“Blocking access will only achieve negative results. Companies need to have acceptable use policies (AUPs) to act as guidelines for accessing any content they deem sensitive. Through awareness, employees will have a sense of responsibility,” added Awadallah.
“Employees can be educated on how to use the social networking site responsibly and to increase their productivity at work.” Speaking on the sidelines of the GCC Government Social Media Summit on Social Media in Dubai yesterday, Awadallah said since most employees in the UAE are expats, companies also need to educate them about the cultural beliefs of the country.
He added: “As part of their training and induction programmes, companies should educate staff about the need to respect local cultural beliefs while using social media and how to protect themselves from the dangers associated with cyberspace.”
He said his firm was already working with some government schools to teach pupils about the importance of digital technology as well as its dangers, such as cyber bullying, copyright theft, identity theft, phishing and pornography.
“We have achieved about 80 per cent success so far because most of our students now know that it is bad to use social media for bullying and anyone abusing the platform can be easily reported by other users,” said Awadallah.
He said 3,000 children will take the course.
...AS TEACHERS ARE TOLD TO GET TWEETING TOO
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has told Dubai schools they must use social media as an educational tool. “Social media is a very powerful tool as a means of constructive engagement between students and their teachers,” said Habab Musa Mohamed Ahmed, programme manager for digital engagement
at the KHDA.
“Concepts taught in class can be discussed online to ensure that all students fully understand them. Many students are on facebook and Twitter, which they use just for fun. We realised that if we used the networks for educational purposes, it will be appealing to them and also enhance their knowledge.”
Ahmed said that the incorporation of social media use in school will also improve the exchange of information between the KHDA and school administrations. A special department will oversee the programme. Parents have also been used to interact with their children’s schools and discuss any topics of interest or suggestions. “This will ultimately help to improve the general quality of education,” said Ahmed.