The “How much would you sell your data for?” initiative has seen the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission send out texts via local mobile phone companies advising people to be on their guard when sharing data.

Saeed Al-Ghamdi, the commission’s director of corporate communication, told Arab News that the campaign aimed to highlight the importance of personal data privacy and preventing information, such as names, ages, gender, and marital status being revealed to online fraudsters.

CITC campaign literature points out how easily hoaxers can trick unsuspecting internet users into parting with their personal details, commonly by simply asking for permission to access or share private information.

The commission recommends only downloading apps from reliable sources, keeping them updated, carefully reading terms and conditions of use, limiting access to only necessary services, and regularly reviewing and modifying the permissions granted to apps.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Public Security, on its Twitter account, urged people living in the Kingdom to immediately report any suspected scams to their nearest police station or via the Kollona Amn (we are all security) app.

According to a survey conducted in September 2020 by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky in conjunction with Toluna research agency, 64 percent of people in Saudi Arabia said they had been targeted by fraudsters trying to steal money and bank card details.

The study also revealed that more than 62 percent of respondents thought scammers had targeted them or family more frequently during the coronavirus pandemic.

It pointed out that methods used to trap victims included special offers and false claims about products said to diagnose and treat COVID-19, and payment requests for alleged noncompliance with health and safety rules related to the virus outbreak.

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