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

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

Friendly WiFi

Friendly WiFi is the world’s first accreditation scheme designed to verify whether a business’ public Wi-Fi service meets a minimum level of filtering to block out access to pornographic and child abuse websites. ‘Friendly WiFi’ aims to keep children and young people safe from viewing inappropriate material when logged into public Wi-Fi offered in cafes, shops, restaurants etc across the UK.

RDI Director Mike Davies said; “The creation of the ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme follows a number of collaborative discussions about what can be done to improve child safety online. RDI has worked with the Government and industry to develop such a scheme, carrying a friendly logo to help UK businesses promote the fact that their Wi-Fi service is filtered and that ‘Friendly WiFi’ sites can be easily identified and located throughout the UK. The RDI is looking forward to supporting a safer environment for children and young people as the level of internet browsing and availability of services continues to increase.”

So what is 'Friendly WiFi'? Mike explains:

"For the past 12 months the Registered Digital Institute (RDI) has worked alongside The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) to design and launch a scheme that is the first in the world to use a minimum standard specification of filtering and to regulate public Wi-Fi services offered by businesses in the UK. This initiative is supported by Government and the UK’s main Wi-Fi providers."

"‘Friendly WiFi’ has been created to ensure that businesses who offer their customers the use of their public Wi-Fi services and who wish to become a ‘Friendly WiFi’ venue, can have their Wi-Fi services verified by an independent body to confirm that the correct filters are in place to block anyone from accessing inappropriate material."

Where should people look out for the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo?

"The ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo can be found on the high street, in cafes, shops, restaurants, hotels and public transport. Wherever you see the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo, parents and children can be assured that the public Wi-Fi offered at that particular venue has reached an industry recognised standard level of filtering and that access to pornography and child abuse websites, videos and images are blocked."

Why is it important for public Wi-Fi to be filtered?

"If filters are not placed on public Wi-Fi services, children and young people are at risk of viewing and accessing inappropriate material. This includes pornographic and child abuse imagery, websites and videos."

Claire Lilley, Head of Child Online Safety at NSPCC, has also given the scheme her backing; “Children often go online when they are out and about and parents need to know that using a public Wi-Fi network won’t expose them to pornography. So it’s very reassuring for parents to know that when they see the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo they can allow their children to go online in safety. However, as with any filtering measures it’s vital not to be complacent and we urge parents to talk to their children about what they get up to online and what to do if they have any concerns.”

Many high street names have become Friendly WiFi accredited including Tesco, Samsung 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 and so unavailable to users.

More information can be found at the Friendly WiFi website.

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on July 24, 2014 11:15

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