Protect your children from online stalkers, says Royal Oman Police

Business Saturday 13/February/2016 21:30 PM
By: Times News Service
Protect your children from online stalkers, says Royal Oman Police

Muscat: In the light of a ‘large’ number of online harassment cases involving adults targeting children in Oman through social media, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has called upon parents to take better control of their children’s electronic devices.
Captain Ghassan Al Zadjali of the ROP economic crimes department told the Times of Oman that criminals mainly target female children, but there are cases of male children being victimised as well.
Captain Al Zadjali was talking to the Times of Oman on the sidelines of the Telecom Laws and Regulations Forum 2016, organised by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) recently.
According to the official, in certain cases, offenders asked some children to meet them at a certain place in order to abuse them later.
“Rape cases have also been reported,” Al Zadjali confirmed.
“Parents must talk to their little ones when they suspect any suspicious behaviour because children are afraid of explaining such threats to their parents,” Al Zadjali explained.
In a world with fast-paced technology, adopting modern devices with free Internet accessibility at an early age is one of the main causes of cyber-crimes in the Sultanate, according to Al Zadjali.
Al Zadjali said that banning children from using new technology is not the right solution. However, they should be educated on how to use the devices in a secure way under the supervision of adults.
“Parents must make sure that no unnecessary mobile apps are installed in their children’s electronic devices,” he stressed.
He also said that family plays an important role in curbing cyber-crimes. “Supervision is not meant to restrain a child’s freedom; it is to protect them,” said Al Zadjali.
Asked about what action should be taken if a child has already been harassed, Al Zadjali advised parents to consult official health authorities for therapy.