WiFi SPARK – ‘Friendly WiFi’ ‘Approved Provider’ Supporting the Initiative
December 2015 by Marc Jacob
WiFi SPARK is proud to support the work of ‘Friendly WiFi’, the world’s first accreditation scheme designed to verify whether a business’ public WiFi service meets a minimum level of filtering to block out access to pornographic and child abuse websites. The ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme works in partnership with the Internet Watch Foundation, in which WiFi SPARK is proud to be a member of.
What is ‘Friendly WiFi’?
‘Friendly WiFi’ aims to help parents, children and young people make informed choices about using public WiFi and protects them from viewing inappropriate material. The scheme verifies whether the public WiFi provided at a venue meets an industry standard for filtering, blocking access to sites containing inappropriate content. We are now encouraging all of our clients to join the ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme and be accredited as a ‘Friendly WiFi’ venue.
Why is it important?
Public WiFi is the same as the WiFi we use at home except there’s just lots more people using the same connection at any one time. With so many places letting you access the internet it’s really important that businesses in charge of letting you use their public WiFi take the right steps to protect you, your friends and your children from seeing upsetting, disturbing and generally not very nice images, videos or websites. It’s important that when you use public WiFi to access the internet that you feel safe and remain safe online.
Who is already a part of ‘Friendly WiFi’?
A selection of WiFi SPARK’s customers have already taken up the initiative such as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Maudsley Learning Centre. Other companies like TESCO and IKEA are also on board with ‘Friendly WiFi’.
Friendly WiFi is thrilled to offer the Scheme in partnership with WiFi SPARK. Beverley Smith, Director of Friendly WiFi commented: “The team at WiFi SPARK has been a pleasure to work with from the beginning and has been extremely proactive. We were aware that they were a main provider to NHS Trusts which is a key market we were keen to tell about the Friendly WiFi Scheme.” She added: “Doing this in partnership with WiFi SPARK will create more interest and it also has enabled us to communicate an exclusive offer via WiFi SPARK. I look forward to growing the relationship further in 2016.”
How can I join ‘Friendly WiFi’?
WiFi SPARK is a ‘Friendly WiFi’ ‘Approved Provider’ meaning the company’s public WiFi offering meets the scheme’s specification, making joining the scheme a straightforward process for WiFi SPARK clients.
WiFi SPARK clients can now apply to join the scheme and have their service verified, to ensure that access to pornographic material is filtered and child abuse webpages known to the Internet Watch Foundation are blocked.
Once verified and approved, venues can then display the ‘Friendly WiFi’ symbol to make it clear that their WiFi is ‘Friendly’. The ‘Friendly WiFi’ symbol has been designed to help children, young people and adults navigate their way through the high street and gives them the option to choose and use a ‘Friendly WiFi’ venue, to ensure that the public WiFi that they are accessing is filtered and independently accredited.