With many people spending more time online this year due to COVID-19, the risk of being affected by cybercrime has increased, and this extends to potentially harmful communication from dangerous groups or individuals.
Studies have shown that the general public aren’t aware of what signs to look out for that might indicate someone they know has been influenced by extremist content online, so Counter Terrorism Policing (CPT) has launched a new website – ACT Early – to help people recognise and report unusual behaviour in friends, family or co-workers. These guidelines are designed to help people pinpoint any signs that someone they know could have fallen victim to online grooming by extremist or terrorist groups.
The ACT Early website includes guidance on what signs to be on the lookout for, case studies of people who have been through similar experiences, FAQs and details of where to get help, including a new, confidential advice line staffed by specialists at CTP.
These resources can be invaluable for employers who may have vulnerable staff, and who may be working in isolation and unable to talk to one another in person. As well as details on behavioural signs to be mindful of, the website gives guidance on what steps can be taken if you are concerned about someone, in order to intervene in time to stop them becoming harmed.
Making your staff aware of the ACT Early resources is a positive step in the fight against cybercrime and online extremism. If you want to learn more, or you’re concerned about someone you know, visit the website.