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 firstname.lastname@example.org alternatively find out more at www.friendlywifi.co.uk.