22 March 2017

Keeping children safe online

Mums are leading the way with training to help protect children from falling prey to online risks, including extremism.

A group of 16 mothers completed a Web Guardians course in Hove, organised as part of Prevent, the national strategy to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism. Cases of young people incited to travel to Syria have illustrated the significance of the internet as a tool for extremists in promoting their material online.

The five day Web Guardians course was run by JAN Trust, a national charity which works with women from ethnic minority communities, and arranged locally by the city council. The course provided help and advice on using the internet and keeping children safe online.

It is the second time the course has been run in Brighton & Hove – 29 women took part in the training in 2016.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the council’s Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee, joined the final session of the course and presented certificates to the women as they completed the course.

She said: “In today’s volatile world, safeguarding vulnerable people from terrorism needs to be a community effort.  By empowering mothers with knowledge on how to keep up to date with their child’s online world, and inspiring confidence in them to have those difficult conversations about online risks with their children, we want to further support community resilience.”

One of the mothers who took part said: “I found the course very helpful in how to manage our online safety.  Sharing our experience with other parents was a great way to exchange and expand our knowledge.”

Another said: “The course has been very useful and an eye opener to what's going on in the world.  It has helped me understand how to protect my child from being influenced by extremist groups like Daesh and also to put safeguarding measures on devices that my child may use in the future.  Most importantly what I got out of the course is for mothers to always communicate with their children.”

The director of JAN Trust, Sajda Mughal OBE, set up the Web Guardians programme after being left traumatised when she was a passenger on a tube train targeted in the 2005 London terror attacks. She said: "There is a great deal of material online which is designed to harm young people as well as radicalise them. We have been educating women so that they can discuss these issues with their children and protect them.”

The charity has also run this course in London and other parts of the country.

Further information:

Getting help   

JAN Trust