With the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been forced to look for alternative means of studying and revising. Most students have opted for online learning through applications such as zoom.
Extremists and recruiters are taking great advantage of the situation through Zoom Bombing. Zoom Bombing is the disruption of an online conference or meeting. Cyber-attacks are targeting children learning online with terrorism/extremist content.
A number of incidents have been reported and security agencies are investigating the matter. Schools have reported cases where intruders have hijacked classes and posted extremist content. This is a big concern to teachers who fear that if nothing is done, students might be radicalised and end up joining terror groups like the Al Shabaab. In some cases, it can also be a fellow student trying to radicalise his colleagues by sharing extremist material while classes are ongoing.
Increased concerns about Zoom Bombing have caused the company Zoom to review how users can protect their meetings. It also changed settings for accounts used by schools and universities to make their meetings more private by default.
It is therefore necessary for schools to come up with measures to ensure the safety of learners and teachers as well. Parents should also supervise their children’s online activities where possible. The fight against terrorism can not be left to security agencies only, everyone has a role to play.