South West Grid for Learning partners with Friendly WiFi

Friendly WiFi, the Public WiFi accreditation scheme established with the support of industry and the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), is pleased to announce a new partnership formed with South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) to help provide access to the accreditation for schools and further promote awareness of the colourful Friendly WiFi logo, to help children and young people stay safe online.


Friendly Wifi KidsThe exclusive arrangement with SWGfL enables schools to apply for the accreditation allowing the use of the Friendly WiFi logo to display on their WiFi landing page, around the school and on their websites to show their pupils, parents, teachers and visitors, that the WiFi access they provide is safe to use.

By displaying the Friendly WiFi logo, schools can promote and acknowledge their social responsibility by clearly showing that they care about their internet users' safety online. This is especially comforting for parents with children who are provided with school internet access for their personal devices, it also helps young people become aware of other safe venues when out and about.

“We are really excited about our new partnership with SWGfL and their commitment to safeguarding our children when browsing the web online at school”, said RDI spokesperson Mike Davies. “Providing the ability for schools to use and display the logo is an excellent way to promote the awareness of online safety to children and young people, providing them the comfort that wherever they see the logo, they can be sure the WiFi meets a safe and recognised standard”.

“Supporting schools and other organisations to keep young people safer online is a key priority at SWGfL so we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Friendly WiFi to help promote awareness of the scheme” explained SWGfL’s Education Manager, Julia Adamson. “And in line with our core principles, to support schools to save money, we’re delighted to be able to offer membership to the scheme at a significantly discounted rate”.

Baroness Shields, the UK's Minister for Internet Safety and Security said:

“Keeping children and young people safe online is of paramount importance, and a priority for Government. It's extremely encouraging to see key organisations that provide schools with safe and secure connectivity supporting the friendly WiFi scheme. It will help make the internet a safer place for children.”

For further information on the Friendly WiFi initiative, please click here or go to SWGfL to read more about the partnership and how to register.

Written by Friendly WiFi on April 25, 2016 10:26

1st Anniversary of the Digital Friendly WiFi Accreditation Scheme

July marked the first anniversary of the World’s first scheme set up to give confidence to the public that venues who provide publically available WiFi were barring access to pornographic or child sex abuse websites.


Friendly WifiAt a time when most children and young people have access to the internet through their mobile phones it is imperative that venue owners ensure that Public WiFi is not only protected but they are reassuring the public that they are doing everything in their power to protect our children and young people in this way.

The scheme ensures that the provision of Public WiFi Service is safe and meets an agreed industry standard as agreed by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron in July 2013.

The UK Government were the initiators behind the scheme and have provided continued support with direct support coming from Minister Ed Vaizey who was instrumental in the development. The recent appointment of Baroness Shields OBE as Minister for Internet Safety and Security further strengthens the Government’s commitment to internet safety.

Baroness Shields stated:
“The Friendly WiFi scheme has been a great success and is another example of how the UK is leading the world when it comes to making the internet a safer place for young people. I am delighted that organisations like IKEA, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Maudsley Centre and the City of York Council are joining the current members who are setting the bar for the responsible provision of public WiFi. Parents can take comfort in knowing that their children are protected from harmful content in these zones, and wherever they see the Friendly WiFi logo."

John Carr, Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety commented:
WiFi is a key pillar of our hyper-connected, always on world so it is essential that every company or organization that is involved in supplying it to the public thinks about their responsibilities towards children and young people. Friendly WiFi is the only scheme that checks to ensure that public WiFi meets a given standard, regardless of the individual WiFi provider. It is a testament to the success of the UK’s Friendly WiFi scheme that it is now being launched in the USA. I look forward to seeing Friendly WiFi grow and expand over the coming years.”

Beverley Smith, Director of the RDI commented:
“The first year of the scheme has been fantastic and it has been a real pleasure to work with all brands involved as well as the brands I am currently discussing the scheme with. To see the expansion of the scheme across all types of venues is achieving exactly what the scheme was developed to do”

Friendly Wifi CafeForerunners of the Scheme included Tesco and Starbucks.

Josh Hardie, Responsibility Director for Tesco stated:
“Friendly Wi-Fi means parents can be safe in the knowledge unsuitable content isn’t accessible through our wireless networks. We want to make sure children are properly safeguarded in our stores and we’re proud to be one of the first organisations to sign up to the scheme. ”

Simon Redfern, Communications Director for Starbucks commented:
“We’re delighted to have supported the Friendly WiFi initiative from the outset. We have exciting WiFi upgrades taking place over the next few months and our customers will soon be able to enjoy a faster service with the reassurance they are in a friendly and safe environment both online and in store at Starbucks.”

Expansion of scheme to the United States
RDI has been working to bring the Friendly WiFi Scheme to the United States with internationally known Internet safety expert, Donna Rice Hughes, CEO and President of Enough Is Enough (EIE), a U.S. based not-for profit organisation whose mission is to make the Internet safer for children and families. EIE launched the National Porn Free WiFi campaign in the United States in 2014 by targeting key brands such as McDonald’s and Starbucks to lead corporate America to adopt a minimum standard of filtering to ensure that pornography or child sex abuse images can’t be accessed whilst using their free Wi-Fi services

Donna Rice Hughes, President ‘Enough is Enough’ US stated:
“Corporate America needs to exercise responsibility to be part of the solution to keep children and families safe while using public WiFi services. The Friendly WiFi accreditation scheme is a win-win for the Corporation who offers filtered and friendly WiFi and is well positioned to become the good housekeeping seal of approval to help guide consumers where to go to use safe Wi-Fi in the U.S.”

Written by Friendly WiFi on August 10, 2015 12:53

Educating and empowering

CIS MagThe RDI and Child Internet Safety, both North West companies who are passionate about online child safety, recently joined forces.

The partnership is about raising the profile of safety of children whilst out and about via the Friendly WiFi Scheme and to communicate details of the scheme to parents and the educational sector. The announcement of the partnership also coincided with the launch of the Child Internet Safety magazine.

The Child Internet Safety magazine is free of charge, and provides an ideal reference point, with focus on everything from social media, gaming, e-commerce, internet access, internet footprint and identity, to e-safety, content filtering, and mobile devices. The information gathered together means families can celebrate the amazing resources found online and via connected devices - whilst also being well aware of all the hidden digital dangers.

Aisha Tilstone, Founder and Publisher at Child Internet Safety comments “Every child is now born into a digitally enabled world and we’re all, collectively, still learning about the benefits, and the dangers. Children are at the forefront of that, because their natural tendency to explore, communicate, and break down barriers is amplified online; any mistakes can have far-reaching consequences.”

Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy, said: “The Friendly WiFi and Child Internet Safety partnership will make clear to parents which cafes, restaurants and other businesses have internet access that is safe for their children to use. It will help these firms ensure that families feel comfortable and make it clear to parents they are choosing a safe online environment. It will also allow parents to access the Child Internet Safety magazine, which will help show families how to stay safe online.

“This shows that businesses are responding to Government’s call to think about how they can help parents protect their children from inappropriate content online.”

To download your free copy of the Child Internet Safety magazine, please visit www.childinternetsafety.co.uk.

Written by Friendly WiFi on January 29, 2015 12:10


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