Support has always been at the heart of our company culture, supporting our clients to improve their information security, supporting our staff, and supporting the infosec community in which we work. But in April 2020, as COVID measures were starting to be introduced, our team decided they wanted to do more, to use our knowledge and expertise to further support organisations and charities on a pro bono basis. Organisations that were going above and beyond to positively affect some of the biggest issues our society faces.
This goal continues to this day, and we are proud to announce we have recently teamed up with the charity, R;pple Suicide Prevention, to assist them with the security of the soon to be launched online monitoring tool, a browser extension aimed at preventing suicide and self-harm.
Suicide is a growing issue in the UK, and the figures are truly frightening; male suicide was at its highest rate in 20 years in 2020, there has been a 93% rise in female under 25 suicide rates since 2012 (ONS), there are 1.2m searches on ways to take your own life every month and harmful internet use was found in 26% of deaths in under 20s, as well as 13% of deaths in those aged 20-24. (Samaritans).
R;pple Suicide Prevention was established this year by Alice Hendy, who lost her brother, Josh, to suicide when he was just 21 years old in 2020. It was found that Josh had been researching techniques to take his own life via internet searches and that the only support accessible through these searches was via a helpline. The charity was set up to help ensure more help and support is given to individuals searching for harmful content online.
That’s where the R;pple browser extension comes in. The R;pple extension has been designed to ensure those who are actively searching for harmful online content relating to self-harm or suicide are presented with a message of hope, that things can and will get better, as well as provide them with mental health support options, in a format that works for them.
R;pple provides people with a voice, choice, empowerment and control at a time when they are most vulnerable. Displayed before harmful online search results, R;pple encourages people to gain mental health support from established, 24/7 and free charities as an alternative to viewing harmful online results.
The browser extension is set to be released on 10th September 2021 (World Suicide Prevention Day) and the charity are already working with many businesses and education providers as part of their phase 1 roll out. It’s an extremely worthwhile endeavor and it’s one we are proud to work with.
You can find out more about R;pple Suicide Prevention, their work and download their free browser extension by clicking here