UAE mobile network changes name: Here's why

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Etisalat, the UAE's largest telecom operator, on Tuesday changed its network name to 'AQDAR SID' to mark the Safer Internet Day, an EU wide initiative, organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones.

The UAE has joined more than 100 countries worldwide, including all 28 countries of the European Union, in celebrating SID for the thirteenth year running. In the UAE, the day is being celebrated since 2011 under the patronage of Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Organised by the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, Aqdar, the campaign, which features the participation of more than 30 ministries and federal, local and private entities, aims at raising awareness of community members about the dangers of the Internet, equipping them with the proper methods for safe internet use, and strengthening moral values and positive behaviours for safe use of the Internet.

The campaign's logo will be posted on the Google search engine. Three short documentaries will be screened via local broadcasters.

Additionally, Aqdar has also allocated Dh200,000 in cash prizes for student competitions on social media platforms.

UAE organisers say the global 'Safer Internet Day' is a manifestation of international organisations' efforts of spreading the concepts of safe internet usage and child protection through early education.

As part of UAE's celebration of the event, a new UAE-based non-profit organisation was launched to work for the protection of children from online abuse using psychiatric, legal, educational, technical and social expertise in cooperation with local and international authorities.

Launched on February 9, Emirates Safer Internet Society E-SAFE announced its vision to become a "sustainable and globally recognised" hub for child protection online by 2021.

E-SAFE has worked with international agencies such as Interpol, Unicef, ITU, EUROPOL and other local authorities such as the Ministry of Interior, the Khalifa Student Empowerment Programme (Aqdar), the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), among many others.

The ministry urges parents to be cautious and to prevent their children from falling prey to internet dangers, as they may not always be aware of the challenges and risks they face online.

With inputs from Wam

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