Radicalisation

What makes young people turn to extremism?

As 2017 comes towards its closure, it’s only natural to look back on the year’s events. Whilst we should count our blessings on some fronts, it’s with a feeling of incredible sadness that we remember those who have lost their lives due to acts of terrorism.

In May, when the news hit that the Manchester Arena had been targeted, the British public drew a sharp intake of breath. Previous terrorist attacks had been centred on London, the country’s capital and an obvious target. Now we were seeing terrorism occur outside the boundaries of what we’d become used to, not just geographically but demographically too. Ariana Grande had been a child star, greatly admired by the young people who had come in their thousands to see her live performance. The attack on the arena had been premeditated with this in mind. Out of the 22 people killed, six were under 18 and there were 170 children in the foyer who witnessed the attack.

Are we looking for somebody to blame?
When considering those who commit these dreadful crimes, our natural reaction turns to anger. We search for an explanation, some cause that drives these people to act with such evil, often laying the blame at the door of religion or brainwashing or an egocentric desire for fame or martyrdom. What we find most confusing is that the people committing these acts of violence - not just in the UK, but across Europe - are not citizens of another country, but people born and raised in the very countries they choose to attack.

In the TED Talk ‘What we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids and why we should care,’ Deeyah Khan talks in detail about her experience as a Muslim growing up in Norway, where, as a young female musician she struggled to be accepted by both her own community and the predominantly white non-Muslim society in which she was born. After being continually harassed and threatened, at the age of 17 she fled to London, but was quickly met with the same prejudices. Describing herself as feeling lost and falling apart, she eventually moved to the US, giving up her music career because of fear. In doing so, she made a pledge: to help other young people in Europe who feel trapped in a position between family and culture.

The gap between country and culture
As a film director, Deeyah Khan now uses her experience to generate awareness of the clash of cultures between Muslim parents who prioritise honour over their children's desire for freedom. She argues that we need to understand what is happening to fight the pull of extremism. Over the last few years she has spent her time interviewing convicted terrorists, Jihadis and former extremists to find out how and why they fell victim to extremist organisations and ideologies. In her own words, she describes meeting: “Not monsters, but broken people. People who were torn apart from trying to bridge the gaps between their families and the countries they were born in. People looking for a sense of significance, belonging and purpose.” She found that people were lured by extremist groups because their leaders promised them the things they needed: a voice, visibility, importance and a community that loves and accepts them. Sadly, many of these groups have their own agenda: to channel people’s vulnerabilities and frustrations towards violence.

How technology has enabled extremism
Former Islamist extremist, Maajid Nawaz, now a British activist and prominent critic of Islamism, cites similar reasons for being drawn into extremism. Born in Essex, he recalls the feeling of being divided between his Pakistani and British identities as an important factor in his struggle to find his own identity. In his TED Talk, he discusses his own journey into extremism at the age of 16 and now, how borderless technologies and digital activism have enabled extremist organisations to propagate their messages across the world, capitalising on communication channels that didn’t exist 20 years ago. Whilst the Internet has brought us freedom to harvest information, we also know that it’s the perfect tool to reach and influence young people sitting at home in their bedrooms. Exchanges take place under the radar and can go undetected. In becoming part of an online extremist group, young people feel they’ve become part of something in which they feel exclusive and privileged, and often feel more valued than they would in wider society.

What can we do as educators?
Those of us in the teaching profession will be familiar with the Prevent Duty, part of the overall counter-terrorism strategy which aims to reduce the terrorist threat to the UK by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. One of the key strategy objectives is to respond to the ideologies spread by extremists that it is not possible to be both Muslim and British, and that Muslims living in the UK should not participate in our democracy.

The Internet is one of key channels that extremist groups exploit to spread their messages. By publishing fake news and propaganda, they aim to influence and manipulate young people’s perceptions of themselves and the world, ultimately impregnating their theories behind the justification for extremism and terrorist behaviour.

As teaching professionals, we can help prevent extremism through education, but also through the exchange of dialogue. PSHE lessons provide the perfect opportunity to do this. Young people should be encouraged to talk about how they use the Internet and how they evaluate and interpret the content they see. Conversations should include the understanding of how Internet content is produced, what people’s motivations are for producing particular content, and how students can make a valid judgement between what is, and what isn’t a credible source of information. These lessons can also prove invaluable for sharing experiences of content seen online that students may have felt upset by, or content they don’t understand and would like to discuss. It may also open the door for those being contacted by extremists, or who have researched extremism to seek help if they are feeling isolated.

Get up to speed on radicalisation awareness

If you’re in need of additional support on the subject of anti-radicalisation, the topical resources from E-safety Support have been designed to help all members of the school community (pupils, parents and staff) understand more about the issue of radicalisation and in particular the part the Internet plays in encouraging people to consider extremist views.

Resources available include classroom materials, a parent guide, a school checklist, school policy and CPD accredited staff training

Premium Plus members can access all the resources from their E-safety Support dashboard.
Free members can download the anti-radicalisation checklist and also preview the online training.

Written by E-safety Support on November 09, 2017 11:18

All Different. All Equal.

Let’s celebrate uniqueness in November’s Anti-Bullying Week.


Anti Bullying Week 2017 LogoIn the school environment, where peer pressure and the desire to be popular still holds fast, education remains as important as ever in developing young people’s social and emotional awareness. This year’s Anti-Bullying Week, which takes place from 13-17 November looks at a very current and poignant topic; diversity. Following the theme ‘All Different, All Equal,’ the week will focus on why our individual human traits should be recognised as a valuable part of who we are.

The week of activities is organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, which was founded in 2002 by the NSPCC and the National Children’s Bureau. Over the years, the organisation has been bolstered by the support of a number of core and associate members who work collaboratively to raise awareness about the impact of bullying. Their aim is to create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

2017 Theme
This year, the 'All Different, All Equal' theme looks at:

  • How to empower children and young people to celebrate what makes them, and others, unique
  • Helping children and young people understand how important it is that every child feels valued and included in school and able to be themselves without fear of bullying
  • Encouraging parents and carers to work with their school and talk to their children about bullying, difference and equality
  • Enabling teachers and other children’s workforce professionals to celebrate what makes us ‘all different, all equal’ and celebrate difference and equality, encouraging them to take individual and collective action to prevent bullying and create safe environments where children can be themselves.

How to Get Involved
The Anti-Bullying Alliance have a number of suggested ways in which you can get involved, including:

  • Official Merchandise: Schools can purchase official Anti-Bullying Week 2017 merchandise via their online shop. Proceeds go to funding Anti-Bullying Week next year.
  • Odd Socks Day: This is an opportunity for children to express themselves and appreciate individuality. But most importantly, Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun!
  • Become a Supported: Sign up as an Anti-Bullying Week supporter and receive a certificate to display in your school/organisation. Join the anti-bullying movement and let people know what you're doing for #antibullyingweek.
  • Get Involved Online: Download the pack to find template tweets, facebooks, selfie ideas and many many more things you can do to get involved in Anti-Bullying Week and Odd Socks Day for Anti-Bullying Week. You can also register for the Thunderclap

Full details can be found at www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk.

Download your cyber bullying assembly
E-safety Support members can download a selection of topical resources including a cyber bullying assembly for either KS1/2 or KS3/4 – log into your member dashboard to download or register for FREE membership for access.

Anti Bullying Week 2017 Banner

Written by E-safety Support on November 01, 2017 14:55

Caught on the Net!

Under 25s now more than TWICE as likely to be snared by online ‘phishing’ scams than Baby Boomers


Get Safe Online Week 2017
  • Youngsters under 25 typically lose a huge £613.22 to fraudsters, compared to the older generation, whose losses average £214.70
  • Over 55’s are more likely to be targeted by online fraudsters - with almost half suffering cybercrime attempts compared to a third of under 25s
  • Over one in 10 18-24 year olds have actually fallen victim to ‘phishing’, compared to just one in 20 55+ year olds
  • But the real number maybe far higher, as just 27 per cent of victims report the crime
  • Get Safe Online has recruited unique new ‘Scammer Nana’ squad to demonstrate to youngsters how simple it is to be defrauded even by someone their grandparents’ age.

    TECH savvy teens who live their lives online are now more than TWICE as likely to fall victim to internet conmen than over 55’s, a surprising new study shows.

    More than one in ten of the youngsters polled (11 per cent), who are aged 18 to 24, have fallen victim to ‘phishing’ scams – where fraudsters access personal details though online communication – compared to just one in 20 (5 per cent) of over 55s, according to the report from Get Safe Online, the UK’s leading source of information on online safety.

    Despite claiming to be very digitally aware, millennials and Gen Z cybercrime victims also lose far more money in the attacks, averaging £613.22 compared to £214.70 for the older generation.

    In a survey commissioned by Get Safe Online, most people (38 per cent) believed that hackers were likely to be young. The same number believed they were targeted by a large international hacking organisation and almost a quarter (23 per cent) thought that advanced technical skills are needed to carry out a phishing attack.

    This could be why over one in ten (11 per cent) millennials don’t believe that the older generation has the skills to phish, and almost the same number (9 per cent) believe it’s ‘only old people’ who fall for phishing scams.

    To prove that anyone can get phished – and equally that anyone could be behind phishing – Get Safe Online trained a group of nans, dubbed the ‘Scammer Nanas’, to phish their grandkids and dispel the convictions of a quarter of young people (27 per cent) who believe they are too smart to fall for scams.

    Five nanas were recruited from across the UK to learn how to perpetrate a phishing email. Their schooling included faking their email address, creating false links, inventing a fake ‘company’ and writing a convincing fake email. They then put their knowledge to the test and phished their grandkids with emails with fraudulent links – proving that young people aren’t as savvy as they think.

    Cyber experts are blaming the rise in teenage and 20-something victims on being more trusting of online communication than older generations.


    Evidence from the report revealed just 40 per cent of under 25s say they ‘carefully read and re-read all emails’, in contrast with two thirds (69 per cent) of 55+ year olds who scrupulously check all online communication.

    Worryingly, only half of under 25s (51 per cent) don’t ‘reply to or click on links in unsolicited or spam emails’ – which is a common technique used by phishers. However, older Brits are more cautious, with three quarters saying that they never reply to or click on links in suspect emails.

    And three times as many 18-24 year-olds than over 55s have stopped using social media or emails as a result of phishing.

    Younger people are also more likely to experience longer-term damage from phishing attacks. While only three per cent of casualties over 55 reported losing ‘a large amount of money which affected my lifestyle and finances’, almost a quarter (24 per cent) of younger victims’ lifestyle and finances were severely compromised.

    Youngsters were ten times more likely to suffer mental health issues after being targeted, with 29 per cent saying the crime attempt impacted them compared to just three per cent of over 55s.

    But despite the increase in young cybercrime victims, older Brits (47 per cent) are still more likely to be targeted by online criminals compared to their younger counterparts (36 per cent).

    Overall, half (50 per cent) of all Brits have been targeted, with eight per cent of the UK population falling victim to the cybercriminals.(1)

    The research also looked at the frequency of phishing, revealing that almost two thirds (64 per cent) of people have received a phishing email within the last year, and one in five (19 per cent) within the last month, as cyber gangs step up activity. Worryingly, one in ten (10 per cent) has been targeted upwards of ten times.

    The report showed the most common phishing con is a fake email claiming to be from a bank or other financial organisation, asking for consumers to change or verify their login details. Over half (51 per cent) received this type of email, followed by 33 per cent who were sent an email from a company asking them to update logins or provide account details.

    Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said: “There’s a common misconception that as ‘digital natives’ younger people are savvier and safer online. However, as our report shows, this isn’t the case. When it comes to staying safe from cyberscammers, older may actually mean wiser.

    “So to help youngsters gets safe online, we trained a team of Scammer Nanas to show just how easy it is to phish for information and carry out such a cruel and life-impacting crime. We hope our nana scam gang will make young Brits think twice before handing over their information.”

    Sue Parker-Nutley, one of the Scammer Nanas added: “The internet is a wonderful thing – it’s helped me to stay in touch with friends and family. However, it’s astounding how easy it can be for online fraudsters to succeed in their efforts – if I can do it, then anyone can.

    “However, there are some really simple things that you can do to protect yourself – like turning on your spam filter or never clicking on links or attachments if you’re suspicious. It’s not difficult and it could save you a heap of trouble down the line.”

    When asked how they dealt with the unwanted emails, over a quarter (27 per cent) reported it to an industry body and the same number to their email provider. However, one in ten (10 per cent) ignored it, one in 16 (6 per cent) panicked and one in 33 (3 per cent) even bought a new laptop in response to being targeted.

    To find out more, please head to www.getsafeonline.org/scammernanas or search #ScammerNana on social media.
    Get Safe Online Week Logo 2017

    Written by E-safety Support on October 26, 2017 09:08


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