Very easy to spread rumours: cyber security expert [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority has said that Mars, Snickers and Galaxy Milk drinks are all non-toxic and safe. The statement was made by the food regulatory authority in response to rumours circulating on social media platforms, maligning the products as being harmful to health.
Rumours like these begin as a small wisp of smoke from an irresponsible source and soon turn into a fire as social media denizens fan the flames by forwarding the message without checking its veracity, says Fadi Aloul, head of computer engineering and cyber security at the American University of Sharjahm, cautioning UAE residents from the after-effects of such irresponsible spread of unverified messages.
"As compared to earlier times when we had â€˜snail mail' it is very easy for people to mass forward a message on Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms without so much as giving it a thought. People just click a button and share a message with all their contacts and in a trice the message goes round the globe. People have free access to these platforms anywhere and anytime.
"People think of forwarding such messages because they are different from the routine and serve to create a session. They should know that such rumours can easily be traced to its origin and are now a crime. Anyone found spreading wanton rumours can be held liable and punished.
"In my lectures on cyber crime I constantly teach my students that it is easy to verify a message. First do not wildly spread it by forwarding it. It is also easy to send the message to the concerned source for verification. For instance, if this message was sent to the Twitter account, website or Facebook account of the government food regulatory authority for verification, they would have immediately sent you a response. So it is our responsibility to check a negative message instead of pressing the forward button.
"Besides, people must realise that the spread of such rumours is not just a monumental waste of time as you are distracted, have to interrupt your thought process and your work to be able to read and forward a message, but it is also a waste of money and resources. When you are forwarding something you are using an internet bandwidth or some part of your data package and wasting precious money," he said.
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