What is the 'Friendly WiFi' Scheme?

21 Jul 2014 UK SIC

With the launch of the World’s First public WiFi accreditation scheme last week we spoke to Mike Davies from The Registered Digital Institute (RDI) about the importance of the ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme.

If you could sum it up in one paragraph, what is the ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme all about?

The ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme has been designed and developed in collaboration with the Registered Digital Institute and The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). The initiative is supported by Government and the UK’s main WiFi providers after concerns were raised by leading child safety experts, that children and young people were being put at risk of viewing and accessing inappropriate material when using public WiFi. ‘Friendly WiFi’ has been created to ensure that businesses who offer their customers public WiFi and who wish to join the scheme to become a ‘Friendly WiFi’ venue, have had their WiFi services verified by an independent body to verify 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 across the high street in cafes, shops, restaurants, hotels and on public transport. Wherever you see the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo you can be assured that the public WiFi offered at that 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 WiFi to be filtered?

If filters are not placed on public WiFi services, children and young people are at risk of viewing and accessing inappropriate material. This includes pornographic and child abuse imagery, websites and videos. Leading online safety organisations were so concerned by the non-regulation of public WiFi services that they approached Government with a view to making sure that a commitment was made by the UK’s main WiFi providers that a minimum level of filtering be agreed and applied across all standard public WiFi offerings.

Where can people find out more?

More information can be found by visiting our website www.friendlywifi.co.uk

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