Safer Internet Day 2017 was celebrated globally on Tuesday 7th February with the theme ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’.
On that day, we wrote about how important it is for parents to be aware of what their kids are looking at online.
One month later, we are reminded of how vital this is as a new study published in the mainstream press reveals how half of the UK’s vulnerable young Muslims who are radicalised by extremist material are radicalised online.
And the proportion of people being brainwashed by groups such as Daesh over the web has doubled in the five years to 2015 (I am not sure what this 2015 refers to – the year or a number).
Far from being a dying threat, the risks posed to our children as they surf the net or use messaging apps on their phones are increasing.
Daesh and other terrorist groups are redoubling their efforts to reach and indoctrinate young people in our communities right here in the UK.
There are calls for internet service providers to do more to prevent terrorist material being so easy to access online. Social media giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are collaborating to stop violent, extremist images and videos being spread via their sites.
This is commendable. But more needs to be done.
While it is important that internet companies and social media platforms do what they can to limit access to extremist material, at JAN Trust we recognise that the huge responsibility to prevent the radicalisation of our children starts with us. In our homes. At the dinner table. After school.
If terrorists are ramping up their efforts to reach our children and brainwash them into subscribing to their perverted form of Islam, we too must increase our vigilance and strategies to prevent them from doing so.
We must educate ourselves about the dangers and threats our children face and ensure lines of communication are open between us as parents and our children to protect them and prevent radicalisation.
This is exactly what JAN Trust does through our Web Guardians© programme. We aim to help mothers by giving them the education, skills and tools to recognise the dangers that the internet can present and the abilities to confront and explain them to their children.
Many families have been destroyed by Daesh. JAN Trust is helping in the struggle against home-grown radicalisation so that more families do not have to suffer this same fate.
If you are interested in finding out more about Web Guardians© go to http://jantrust.org/projects/web-guardians.