7amleh presents: Understanding of Digital Security Among Palestinian Youth

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Issued By: 7amleh: Arab Center For Social Media Advancement

Field Research Understanding of Digital Security Among Palestinian Youth Issued By: 7amleh: Arab Center For Social Media Advancement Prepared by: Dima Abu Al-Assal Focus Groups Supervision: Amany Khalifa and Zubaidah Abu Toha Editing For The Arabic Version: Hanadi Qawami Field Scan: S-Com Studies Center Special thanks to:

May 2017

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Field Research

Understanding of Digital Security Among Palestinian Youth We live in a world that is tightly and disturbingly connected to the internet. Digital tools have become such an essential part of individual's daily life that it has become difficult to distinguish between digital reality and actual reality. The internet, and social media platforms in particular, have paved the way for privacy violations and turned personal information into security or commercial data that social media companies utilize to generate profits. Despite the various positive forms of and uses for social media platforms - whether for social, educational, professional or entertainment purposes - these tools have created new security challenges for users, and created what many consider to be an intrusive surveillance and tracking structure. The surveillance and tracking system is more visible in Palestine due to the reality of the occupation’s policies that aim to limit and counter freedom of expression. In the past couple of years, human rights organizations have observed an increase in the number of arrests on the charge of what the occupation authorities call “incitement over Facebook.” Aside from the arrests and/or detentions, these policies have created a climate of excessive self-censorship. In light of the new challenges imposed by surveillance and security persecution connected to using the internet, “7amleh - The Arab Center For Social Media Advancement” initiated a research study, including a field survey, of Palestinian young men and women aiming to understand young users’ level of awareness of digital security. The study sought to assess the objectives of internet use and determine which tools are most commonly used as well as to monitor phenomena related to surveillance and privacy invasion. Using both qualitative (via focus groups) and quantitative (questionnaires) methods, the survey included Palestinian youth from all of historical Palestine, including the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the West Bank (including Jerusalem), and the Gaza Strip. Both the qualitative and quantitative components of the study targeted males and females between 15 and 25, with a total of 132 youth reached through focus groups and 1,285 youth completing a questionnaire during November 2016 when the survey was undertaken. The first section of this report presents the research findings from both the focus groups and questionnaires. The second section provides an overview of the activities initiated by institutions, organizations, schools and other stakeholders that aim to raise awareness on digital security.

1. Results Within this research framework, in order to achieve the objective of understanding the internet use of Palestinian youth, nine focus groups were organised, gathering 132 males and females between 15 and 25 years old, 81 of whom were females and 57 of whom were males. These youth came from all across the West Bank, Gaza Strip and also included Palestinian citizens of Israel according to the following distribution:

Three focus groups in the Gaza Strip: Overall, 54 youth (male and female) participated. The first focus group was held in the city of Khan Younis on 11 November 2016, with the participation of 8 youth (male and female), while the second focus group, involving the participation of 16 youth (male and female) was held in Mughraqa on 17 November 2016. As for the third group, it was held in Gaza City on 20 November 2016 with the participation of 20 youth (male and female). The youth focus group participants in the Gaza Strip came from various academic and social and economic backgrounds.

Gaza Strip 54 youth

Three focus groups in the West Bank: Overall, 34 youth (male and female) participated. The first focus group was held at Birzeit University, north of Ramallah on 11 November 2016, with 10 male and female participants, all of whom were students from different academic majors (sociology, journalism and philosophy). The second focus group was held at An Najah National University in Nablus on 16 November 2016, with the participation of 12 people (male and female). Both of these groups were geographically diverse, with students coming from different areas in the West Bank and the surrounding rural areas of Jerusalem. As for the third focus group, it was conducted in Jerusalem on 28 November 2016 with the participation of 12 male youth.

West Bank 34 youth

Three Focus Groups conducted with Palestinian citizens of Israel:

Overall, 44 youth (male and female) participated. The first focus group was held in Sakhnin with 25 students (male and female) from the 11th grade, on 18 November 2016. The second focus group was held at Qalansuwa on November 22, 2016 with 10 female activists, all 18 years-old, from the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation (AJEEC). As for the third group, it was held in Rahat on 23 November 2016 with nine 18-year-old women.

Palestinian Citizens of Israel 54 youth

Among the nine focus groups, two groups consisted of only young girls or only young men.The female only group was established and the conservative backgrounds from which these women come from was taken into consideration, assuring accuracy in the data obtained. Yet, in other areas and depending on the local social dynamics, gender balance was maintained in selecting the groups. The discussion in these groups was moderated in an engaging way to mimic a conversation between individuals and to naturally reveal users’ level of awareness and knowledge of internet privacy issues in general and social media platforms in particular. The discussions were also used to assess whether participants translated (if it existed) their knowledge into practice by adopting specific technological tools and methods (eg: using incognito a..etc).


In addition to Focus Groups, the Sustainable Communication Association (S-COM) distributed a questionnaire to 1,285 youth (male and female) aged between 15 and 25 years old to the Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinians in the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. The sample included 638 male participants (around 49.6% of the sample size) and 647 female participants (around 50.4% of the sample size) . Geographically, the quantitative research sample was distributed as follows: 421 youth (male and female) Palestinian citizens of Israel, 443 youth (male and female) from the West Bank, and 421 youth (male and female) from the Gaza Strip. The survey’s questions focused on several points relating to: Access to electronic devices like desktop computers, cellphones, tablets, and laptops Web access (in the workplace, home, educational institutions, cafes, neighborhoods, etc) Objectives of internet use (social networking, news, watching videos, listening to music, etc) Awareness level of digital security measures (changing passwords, devices encryption, etc)

Palestinian Citizens of Israel 421 Youth West Bank 443 Youth Gaza Strip 421 Youth

638 49.6%

647 50.4%

1.1 Internet accessibility Internet accessibility refers to the ability of a user to use an internet connection through one or several different electronic devices. The internet can be accessed from the home, workplace, neighborhood cafes or educational institutions (school or university) as well as by using smartphones. All the participants who took part in the focus groups said that they have daily access to internet, but the methods used to connect vary between the territories. The methods used in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are either by using a home landline or buying internet credit, or connecting to an available network in the workplace or an educational institution. As for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the participants have access to 3G and 4G networks (3G and 4G is only available in Israel and has been prevented from entering the West Bank or the Gaza) allowing them to have a permanent and continuous connection to the web. The survey found that the vast majority of youth users have a home internet subscription with 89.7% of Palestinian citizens of Israel participants having an internet connection in their households, 96.2% of the West Bank users and 97.9% of the Gaza Strip users. In addition to the fact that most of the participants have internet accessibility, the survey’s results also showed that in most cases, the internet was accessed through smartphones, with 91.1% of Palestinian citizens of Israel using smartphones, 78.3% in the West Bank and 85.7% in the Gaza Strip using this method.

Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Palestinian Citizens of Israel

West Bank

West Bank

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip

93.1 %

78.3 %

85.7 %


96.2 % 97.9 %

1.2: Internet Usage Objectives: The main online activities of the surveyed group revolved around using social media networks like Facebook, Whatsapp, SnapChat, Instagram and other apps. Some parts of the same group use the internet for educational and professional purposes, to watch television series or movies, to catch up on the news, and/or to play games. The majority of participants in the focus groups from all of the territories said that the main purpose of using the internet was usually to access social media networks. For Palestinian citizens of Israel, the purpose of using the internet varied in one of the focus groups in the sample. The female participants who came from conservative backgrounds used the internet to watch TV series or news and/or to read research studies. Few of them had social media accounts, while some had accounts but had been forced to close them at some point due to pressure from family and their surrounding environment. As for the third gender mixed group, their uses of the internet revolved around social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp. The survey’s results indicate that social media networks are the main reason for using internet, with no major differences between the territories or by gender. The distribution of internet activities is divided as follows: 97% use the internet to access social media networks, 87.4% to watch series and listen to music, 59.5% to browse news websites, and 56.3% to play games. Social media networks Series and Music





News websites Games

As for a ranking of social media networks, Facebook came first with 93.5% of participants indicating they used the site, then Whatsapp (83.2%), Google+ (72.7%), and Youtube (71.8%).





1.3 Internet Risks (or Risks posed by the Internet) From a different angle, the participants, especially in the West Bank, spoke about surveillance imposed on them by their university staff. Some students were even suspended for short periods of time. In some cases, students were completely suspended from the university after writing critical posts directed towards their professors or university administration. Participants also talked about the danger surrounding using Facebook itself, and it’s ability to spy on them. For instance, as a company, Facebook has the ability to hack into any account and sometimes share content with other countries (taking the alleged agreement between Facebook and Israel as a clear example). The participants also expressed their concerns about Facebook’s ability to track their location through the app. The Survey’s results show that there is a certain level of awareness of different security risks, with 70.4% of overall participants demonstrating knowledge on security awareness and many also directly indicating knowledge of espionage by the Israeli Forces and the Palestinian authorities. Territorially, security awareness was as follows: 87.4% of participants in the West Bank, 65.2% of Palestinian citizens of Israel and 75.7% in the Gaza Strip. In contrast to the specific issue of espionage, only 34.7% Palestinian citizens of Israel, 20.5% in the West Bank and 9.2% in the Gaza Strip suggested this was an issue.


Aware of spying


West Bank

65.2% 57.7%

Palestinian Citizens of Israel Gaza Strip

Have been spied on


34.7% 9.2%

West Bank Palestinian Citizens of Israel Gaza Strip

Participants were aware of espionage on social media networks from different sources like friends, news websites, Facebook pages, and internet providers as well as through educational institutions, universities and schools. On the other hand, the data shows that 19.1% of the participants faced or know someone who faced an interrogation by either the Israeli or Palestinian authorities related to Facebook posts they had shared. In contrast, 71.7% of participants said that they never faced such a problem, while 9.2% said that they’ve never heard of such incidents. The results showed that Palestinians in the West Bank were most likely to be investigated or interrogated over social media content they publish, with 35.9% in the West Bank having experienced such treatment compared to 11% of Palestinian citizens of Israel and 9.5% in the Gaza Strip.

As for the social risks that accompany using the internet, participants talked about the privacy violations any social media network user can face, especially in the case of Facebook, where hacked account content or images can become material for blackmail. The participants focused on the risks that come with using the internet and said it is spreading in society and has the potential to wreak havoc. Many gender differences emerged when discussing social risks, with the impact seen as more influential and worrying to females than males. Nevertheless, all users from both genders can be victims of such privacy violations. On the other hand, the survey’s results in the context of social risks showed that the West Bank had the highest percentage of Facebook account hacking, with 29.8% of participants indicating they had experienced it, compared with 18.5% in the Gaza Strip and 16.2% of Palestinian citizens of Israel. As for adding strangers on Facebook as friends, results showed that the West Bank leads the way, with 35% of the users saying that they do so, followed by 30.6% of users in the Gaza Strip, and 24.1% Palestinian citizens of Israel. In contrast, 53% of Palestinian citizens of Israel shared personal images and content on Facebook compared to 49.9% in the West Bank and 40.9% in the Gaza Strip. Regarding the “Location Sharing” service which is considered one of the risks accompanied with using social media networks : 49.9% of Palestinian citizens of Israel said that they used this service compared to 31.6% of the users in the West Bank and 30% in the Gaza Strip.

31.6% 30.6% 49.9%

West Bank Gaza Strip

Palestinian Citizens of Israel

In addition to the aforementioned risks, participants also showcased their knowledge of the commercial risks of internet use related to the hacking of shopping websites to obtain credit card numbers. This phenomenon has happened many times to consumers who were then forced to pay the price for such thefts. Groups of Palestinian citizens of Israel expressed their concerns in this regard which has stopped them from purchasing online. West Bank users revealed that while they were aware of such risks, their main reason for not purchasing online was connected to not being able to obtain credit cards. Additionally, online shopping is less common in the West Bank due to difficulties with shipping and taxation imposed by the Israeli forces’ tight grip on border control.

1.4 Means of protection from risks posed by internet usage

Focus group participants (male and female) expressed different levels of awareness of the means of protection from internet use risks. For example, gender differences in the means used for protection were evident. The focus groups indicate that the massive majority of participants (male and female) in all the geographical territories have passwords set for personal devices, like their cellphones and computers, that can be hacked. Some of the participants were aware of the importance of maintaining privacy. For example, they encrypt their Facebook accounts, change the password every now and then, download anti-virus software or make sure to not accept friend requests from strangers. However, others showed a complete lack of awareness and knowledge on the importance of encryption and other methods of protecting important accounts from hackers. Some of the participants thought that security measures for avoiding the risks of internet use primarily meant encrypting devices and the content on their devices. For instance, encrypting the images and messages in smartphones was mentioned, particularly as this device is often used more than a computer. Participants also spoke about paying attention to the content they shared online as a user may potentially pay a high price for what is posted on the internet. Participants also recommended not sharing personal matters or uploading family pictures on these networks, especially on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In addition, participants also mentioned downloading anti-virus software as a means of protection. They also spoke about defining the social circles within the networks they use and not opening any documents received from an unknown source. In the context of commercial risks, participants indicated that they prefer to use credit cards with a spending limit in order to minimize the risks associated with robbery or theft, with others saying that they never shop online to avoid that risk. As we mentioned earlier, there are some gender based differences between male and female participants when it comes to the means and methods of protection from risks. Despite both genders using encryption and being aware of it’s importance, male participants identified a bigger need to download anti-virus software due to differences in their network use, like downloading programs onto computers. In contrast, few female participants indicated a need to download similar programs saying that their use of the internet does not require it. Another example that highlights gender differences relates to the activation of privacy settings in the use of social media networks. Most of the female participants indicated

that they do not usually activate privacy settings because their accounts are limited to close female friends and colleagues and they do not accept friend requests from strangers. In contrast, male participants seemed more consistent with using their privacy settings because they have been subject to many attempts of hacking, which could lead to the posting of un-ethical content from the hacked account, or the theft of names from the user's’ friends list. As for the two conservative groups of Palestinian citizens of Israel, the female participants claim they cannot use Facebook due to privacy purposes and described it as a source of many problems, particularly for women. Adding to that, families and the surroundings play an important role in this matter by banning females from creating Facebook accounts as a preventative measure to avoid social network risks. The survey’s results indicate that safety and precaution measures are numerous, amongst them changing the account password. For this matter, some participants (33.7%) said that they have never changed their password while 13.3% said that they change it once every 6 months and 19.6% said that they change it once a month with no notable difference in terms of geographical distribution or gender.


Said that they change it once every 6 months



said that they have never changed their password

change it once a month

As for privacy settings on Facebook and other networks, more than half of the participants (59%) change their settings and a small percentage (10%) showed a lack of awareness of such settings. The West Bank leads the statistics, with 70.7% using privacy settings, followed by Palestinian citizens of Israel (58.2%) and the Gaza Strip (47.5%). Downloading anti-virus software is another method used to protect users from hackers. Results show that downloading such apps on cellphones is more common with 54.6% of participants noting they had done so, followed by 44.7% of them downloading to computers. As for responding to emails received from an unknown source, 52.4% said that they delete these emails immediately, 23.8% said that would open it to see if the identity of the sender is familiar, 14.5% said that they block the sender, and 9.3% transfer the email to the Junk box.

As for using an incognito browser, which is a privacy feature that allows a person to browse the web without storing local data like email address or passwords, 15.7% of the participants said that they use it, while 43.8% said that they do not and 40.4% said that they didn’t know such a feature exists. For using VPN, which is a method used to to change the IP address, only 7.8% of the participants said that they use it, with 41.4% saying that they never have and 50.8% indicating that they had never heard of it. As for using encryption for devices as a measure of protection from hacking, 13.4% said that they use it and 51.4% said that they do not, while around 35.2% said that they don’t know anything about encryption.

2. Section Mapping of the most important activities organised to raise digital security awareness After viewing the results for the survey and focus groups that assessed the awareness levels of youth about the risks that accompany using the internet, this section goes on to map the most important activities and training courses organised by institutions, companies, universities, schools, and official institutions throughout historic Palestine in order to raise awareness around digital security. This section aims to answer the following question: what are these stakeholders doing to raise the awareness of internet users about the safe and sound usage of the network? What are the methods they can use to protect themselves and their information in order to preserve their privacy within the digital sphere? Essentially, this mapping serves two objectives: It helps collect information about these activities; thus it helps inform people, guiding them to where these activities are held, which increases the number of beneficiaries while also introducing new ones. Through this mapping we get a clear idea of the existing gaps in terms of activities related to raising digital security awareness. Thus, we assist in analyzing this scarcity, which brings attention to the importance of intensifying, diversifying and repeating similar activities in order to fill this gap.

2.1 The West Bank & Gaza Strip There is a growing need in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, more so than for the Palestinian citizens of Israel to have official or dedicated private organizations that will deliver workshops or lectures about digital security. From the initial mapping we noticed a scarcity in such organizations or lectures in both areas. The Palestinian Ministry of Education (MoE) indirectly conducts workshops on digital security in some schools in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but fails to stress the importance of the subject. The awareness raising campaign is launched as part of projects organised by the General Administration of Supervision and Educational Rehabilitation, which supervises the regional ministry administrations. As for Palestinian universities, digital security is mentioned, with workshops and lectures arranged on the subject, but only for students with technological majors like programming, computer engineering, and computer science. The target group has not yet been expanded in these workshops and courses to include more students from other majors. Non-profit organizations conduct awareness workshops for youth (males and females) on safe internet use, and workshops are also held by the Palestinian Police Forces in coordination with the MoE’s General Administration in the Field. These workshops aim to raise awareness of the risks accompanying internet use in general and social media networks in particular. For instance, the US Consulate recently conducted a workshop in Hebron targeting journalists only, aiming to raise their awareness of potentially damaging uses of social media networks that can result in persecution and arrests by the authorities. In the Gaza strip, a website called “Al-Majd” for security awareness mentions among its objectives that it aims “to expose enemies and infiltrators’ plans” and to increase the level of security awareness within Palestinian society, especially whilst using the internet. The website contains several important sections that aim to raise awareness within the Palestinian community concerning all violations and political persecution by the Israeli authorities. For example, Al-Majd’s website has a section entitled “Security Information” where they share constant updates on technologies employed by the Occupation’s authorities to spy on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. These technologies are used to hack into Gazan’s devices in order to obtain security information. Through such publications, people’s awareness is raised and they are warned of viruses or any possible security breaches.

2.2: Palestinian citizens of Israel: Through this mapping, we noticed greater awareness of and interest in digital security and it’s importance for Palestinian citizens of Israel. Several profit-based, private sector organizations work in this field. There are also individual initiatives to raise awareness by school administrations where lectures are held in the schools or organized through the Israeli Ministry of Education. In some schools as previously mentioned, students who have parents working in the high tech sector initiate and volunteer to give informative lectures about digital security. The Israeli Ministry of Education offers several dedicated activities to promote digital security in all Palestinian community schools for Palestinian citizens of Israel in a Safe Digital Access Day organised each February. These activities take different forms and can include a conference call with a representative from a well-known technology company like Microsoft where the speaker addresses information security and social networks. The Ministry developed a mobile application to encourage students to think twice before sharing any content on social media networks. At the private sector level, there are several organizations concerned with everything related to the technological revolution, and they organize workshops dedicated to digital security issues and internet risks. These organizations can be contacted directly, with workshops open to the general public as well as the possibility to arrange them for specific groups such as for students or charities. Furthermore, civil police in Palestinian towns in the 1948 territories (present day Israel) provide workshops on digital security. The police direct their talks towards school students on the criminal dimension and raise awareness about the risks of social networks and the possible penalties imposed on anyone who blackmails or violates the privacy of another user in the network. Such workshops are conducted in coordination with municipalities and local committees, and usually part of a full day in the schools dedicated to raising awareness around internet usage in general, and social media network use in particular. However, the workshops delivered by the civil police aim to deter students from participating in criminal activities, and do not deeply address the ethical and technological aspects of using the internet safely.

Results and Conclusions:

This report aims to present information about how digital security is dealt with among Palestinians in all parts of historic Palestine, particularly in light of the increasing importance of talking about such matters, and the increasing number of threats and dangers connected to using the internet. This report also presented the results of a digital security survey, with results divided into two levels: the user’s level and the organizational level. The first level (user’s level) examined personal internet use by asking questions about participants’ objectives for using it, their level of risk awareness, especially social media network risk awareness. The second level (organizational level) focused on mapping which organizations as well as government and non-government institutions are working with users to raise their awareness on digital security, whether through workshops or lectures. The results show, especially in the survey, that internet access is available on a daily basis and the vast majority of the sample participants use the internet through smartphones, meaning that internet is widely available most of the time. The vast majority also indicated that using social media networks is their main reason for using the internet. Facebook came out on top of the list of the most used networks followed by Whatsapp. Users who participated in focus groups or the survey had faced cases of blackmail, hacking or stealing of their social media accounts as well as having been surveilled, spied on, or prosecuted by the Israeli or Palestinian authorities. While some of the participants did not face any such problems, they had heard about similar cases from friends and family. Some participants showed a certain level of awareness of these risks and use the internet safely and cautiously. Other participants are aware of the risks but do not adopt any measures to protect their accounts,while another segment of participants lack any knowledge of risks or of the safety measures required for more cautious internet use. In addition to an understanding of awareness, the survey suggested clear gender based differences, especially for conservative communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel. These differences limited women’s ability to access social networks due to social sensitivities and pressure. Most of the women from conservative groups said that they do not use Facebook because their families asked them not to. Families justify this request by saying it is better this way, in order to avoid problems related to account hacking or the theft of images or other personal content that could have major social consequences. On the other hand, this limitation does not apply to male participants. Most of the males in these communities have at least one Facebook account.

The results also show a large gap between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip in terms of the workshops and discussion groups designated to inform internet users about digital security. The private sector in the West Bank and Gaza Srip does not bear the responsibility of conducting such workshops, while the Palestinian MoE conducts workshops on computing that include digital security as a topic, but with limited discussion. Palestinian universities also provide lectures on digital security but these are solely directed to students who major in programming, computer science and computer engineering. Despite the lack of resources for workshops and lectures on the matter, there is still a strong awareness level when compared to what information is actually provided to users, especially in the West Bank. One of the possible explanations for this is the hard reality Palestinians face in the West Bank connected to persecution, oppression and targeting by the Israeli Authorities from the one side and the Palestinian Authority from the other, which has forced them to seek methods of digital security. Such oppression forces them to protect their data as much as possible. The situation for Palestinian citizens of Israel is slightly different. Some private sector organizations work in this field, delivering lectures and workshops. They are sometimes hired by schools to conduct classes on digital security, but not all students in the age range consulted by the survey had benefitted from awareness workshops on the issue. In addition to organizations, there are individual student-led initiatives that provide workshops on safe internet usage, especially by those whose parents work in the high tech field and have full awareness of the risks and methods of protection. On the other hand, the Israeli Ministry of Education works to enhance awareness through lectures or workshops for students as well as through short promotional videos and interviews with specialists from the high tech world. Despite these attempts to raise awareness of students, some of them never altered the way they use the internet and social networks. The survey’s findings showed that the majority do not regularly change the passwords for their accounts, and they rush into using the Location Sharing app as well as sharing images and personal content on social networks.

Recommendations: A good cross-section of users throughout all the territories need to increase their awareness about using the internet. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip suffer from a concerning institutional gap in this field, which requires initiating new actions to spread digital security awareness. While you can find private sector organizations working on this issue for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the Israeli Ministry of Education has also designated a whole department to further develop this topic. However, students did not view the lessons as being sufficient. In this context, it is advisable to develop another research study that assesses what has prevented students who have attended awareness workshops from changing their online behavior. Is the content of the workshops the problem? Or the way it was conducted? Or is it the students themselves? A project can be designed to fill in the information and services gap. For instance, despite the availability of activities that address the topic, not all focus group or questionnaire participants had participated in a digital security workshop. This field is still fresh and new, and there are many groups to work with to meet the needs of the internet users for information. There is a need to develop a work strategy that suits the singularity of each territory and to work with different groups within these territories - inside schools, community centers and every possible methodical or non-methodical frame. There is a need to train and recruit qualified staff members to work within schools or organizations for long and intensified periods rather than occasional workshops. An evaluative research study should be conducted at the end of these workshops to understand how much the students benefited from the content provided in order to develop and enhance these interventions. It is important that the awareness workshops address the humanitarian aspect of these risks, especially the social ones such as a lack of respect for privacy, and not only address the criminal consequences of these risks. The work should be held in conjunction with all groups of internet users, from young to old, as the internet is increasingly used by all age categories and not only by youth. To conclude, there is no doubt that digital security is an extremely important topic, and one of the most talked about issues in our society, whether on a social, security or commercial level. The results have shown that there is a vast number of cases that suffered from blackmail, hacking or theft on social networks, something that requires an immediate response and that emphasizes the urgency to improve awareness. In this context, it is possible to conclude that there remains to be a large vacuum in digital security in Palestine upon which further efforts can be exerted to maximise awareness and reduce online risks.

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