Friendly WiFi supporting Get Safe Online Week

It’s time to celebrate ‘Get Safe Online Week’ an annual event aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of online crime and criminals and the simple steps that can be taken to stay safe. There are numerous events taking place across the UK from the 20th to the 26th of October to highlight the potential dangers that anyone regardless of age could face if they are not equipped with the right knowledge and safety tips. In support of this, the ‘Friendly WiFi’ team couldn’t be prouder that we have been asked to contribute to driving awareness of this hugely important event by being this week’s E-Safety Support guest blogger.

Although our online safety initiative is relatively new, having launched officially in Summer 2014, ‘Friendly WiFi’ is a hugely important accreditation scheme which is growing steadily and gaining support from across the educational, retail and hospitality sectors. ‘Friendly WiFi’ is the world’s first scheme to accredit businesses in the UK which have the correct filters in place to block inappropriate material. This makes each ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme members WiFi services safe and secure for families, children and young people to use.

The online safety and security needs of families and children in the UK is our team’s top priority and we feel very privileged to be working alongside such great online safety advocates, experts and ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme supporters. Since we began working on the development of ‘Friendly WiFi’ which was designed at the request of the PM, we have had support not only from Government but also from leading charities including the NSPCC, Childnet, The Internet Watch Foundation, online safety expert John Carr and other organisations involved in the safeguarding of children online.

We have a great working partnership with E-safety Support who have been key in introducing us into the educational sector as we move into protecting children online by accrediting WiFi services used in schools and other higher educational venues. The most recent school to join our scheme is Portsmouth Grammar who have recently been accredited as a ‘Friendly WiFi’ venue. We are looking forward to working with them to use our partnership as a case study for other local authorities and their schools.

We are delighted to have been approached by a number of LA’s who use public WiFi within their schools and who this year are planning on implementing and rolling out a technology program called ‘Bring your own device’. This program supports mobile learning and lets pupils move toward personalised, anytime, anywhere learning. As part of BYOD pupils will be encouraged to use their own laptops, tablets and phones whilst on school premises, this highlights the need for restrictions to be imposed on to public Wi-Fi to block some of the worst websites and images found on the Internet to keep children safe online.

Any schools, colleges or businesses wanting to find out more about ‘Friendly WiFi’ can request more information by contacting us via email fw@rdi-online.co.uk alternatively find out more at www.friendlywifi.co.uk.




Written by Friendly WiFi on October 22, 2014 15:06

Chester - the World's first Friendly WiFi city?

Chester businesses are being asked to get behind a new WiFi safety campaign and help to make Chester the world’s first porn free city. MP’s, children’s charities, and parenting groups are in full support of the drive to introduce ‘Friendly WiFi’ into Chester City Centre this September.

‘Friendly WiFi’, is supported by Government and has been set up to regulate the public WiFi offered in shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels, to make sure children and families are safe from seeing some of the most horrific websites and images on the Internet. The scheme has been designed by The Registered Digital Institute, who will soon be contacting businesses in the city to invite them to show their support for keeping children and young people safe online.

Chester MP Stephen Mosley is urging Chester businesses to get behind the scheme; “Friendly Wi-Fi is a fantastic innovation to keep our children safe online.” He added; “The Government has introduced a package that empowers parents to keep their children away from explicit material at home. But parents won’t be happy if they block explicit materials at home only for their children to be able to access it when out and about. That’s why I’m delighted to give my support to RDI in their effort to make Chester the first Friendly Wi-Fi city.”

Simon Warburton, Chester Cathedral’s Director of Operations said; “The Friendly WiFi logo serves as a signpost to a safe Internet service whilst parents are out and about with their children. The logo will remove any concerns about safety and allow families to enjoy a worry-free day out”

He added; “Friendly WiFi is absolutely essential for the safeguarding of children and young people online. The scheme blocks access to unsuitable content that children and young people should not be exposed to such as pornography. We fully support this approach.”

Friendly WiFi Director Mike Davies said; “I am excited to be launching our first porn free campaign in Chester. We hope that people visiting Chester and other towns and cities, will soon be able to walk along the high street and see our ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo in shop windows, restaurants and cafes and know without doubt that the WiFi that they provide is safe WiFi, for children and young people to log into without fear of stumbling across illegal and sexual websites and images.”

Chester is the first city aiming to take on the Friendly WiFi challenge and hopefully others will follow. Watch out for the launch of Porn Free Pendle and encourage your students to choose the Friendly WiFi option in your area.

More information can be found at the Friendly WiFi website.

Written by Friendly WiFi on September 18, 2014 13:20

Supporting the Friendly WiFi Scheme

Susie HargreavesSusie Hargreaves is the CEO at the Internet Watch Foundation, established in 1996 by the internet industry to provide the UK internet Hotline for the public and IT professionals to report criminal online content in a secure and confidential way.

Susie explains why they are supporting the Friendly WiFi scheme.

Why does your organisation support the work of ‘Friendly WiFi’?

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has been proud to help shape the standard for ‘Friendly WiFi’. It’s important to us that all providers of public Wi-Fi minimise their customers’ exposure to child sexual abuse imagery online. The ‘Friendly WiFi’ mark should act as a beacon of reassurance for internet users that Wi-Fi offered in public places meets minimum agreed standards. These standards include filtering the Internet Watch Foundation’s list of child sexual abuse images and videos and we are proud to have helped participate in the ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme.

Why is it important that parents and children recognise the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo when out and about?

The internet is a massively positive tool and a great service to provide customers when they’re out and about. We hope that the ‘Friendly WiFi’ mark will equip anyone who wants to use public Wi-Fi with the knowledge that they are protected from some of the most horrendous imagery found on the internet.

Please describe what your organisation does and how people can find out more.

The IWF is the UK Hotline for anyone to report their inadvertent exposure to child sexual abuse imagery, criminally obscene adult content and non-photographic child sexual abuse imagery. Report anonymously and confidentially to www.iwf.org.uk.

Many high street names have become Friendly WiFi accredited including Tesco and Starbucks. These WiFi venues can be identified by the Friendly WiFi logo. The logo will reassure consumers that the most worrying internet content for children, including pornography, will have been placed behind filters.

More information can be found at the Friendly WiFi website.

Written by Friendly WiFi on August 14, 2014 12:29


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