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How coffee shop owners can protect WiFi users with ‘Friendly WiFi’

13 November 2014

Thanks to the folks at Friendly WiFi for this blog post.

One of the perks of popping into your local coffee shop – apart from quaffing delicious roasted coffees from around the world – is most definitely the ease of which the internet can be accessed. Lots of cafes, restaurant and hotels offer customers free WiFi but it was the humble coffee shop that pioneered the process. It could even be said that these days it’s expected that once you have your coffee in hand you’ll be able to check your email, update your Facebook and purchase the latest album from iTunes.

Whilst providing internet access is a great extra to offer your customers, as a coffee shop owner how do you check that the WiFi you offer is safe and secure and that access to pornographic and child abuse websites and images are blocked? Do you know what security settings you have on your account and what that means for customers in relation to what they can access using your WiFi?

Friendly WiFi is a scheme set up to help keep children and young people safe online. Friendly WiFi launched this summer and is open to all independent coffee shops that offer public WiFi from a flat fee of just £27.98 per year. Once your Wi-Fi has been verified you can order marketing material and stickers for your window and shop so you can show your customers that your shop is a ‘Friendly WiFi’ site and families and children are safe to surf the net this summer whilst sipping on your carefully prepared lattes and frappuccinos.

Friendly WiFi Coffee Shop

Choosing to become a Friendly WiFi site means you can ensure that your WiFi is safe and secure and that access to inappropriate material is blocked. By displaying the consumer recognised ‘digital tick’ kitemark logo you can show your customers that the public WiFi services on offer reach an industry standard level of filtering. You can communicate to customers that you support the ongoing safeguarding of children by displaying the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo on your website, landing page and shop window. You can also be part of a larger educational initiative designed to teach children and young people about how to stay safe online when outside of the home.

Why do we need Friendly WiFi?

Last summer some of the UK’s leading children’s charities went direct to Westminster and David Cameron as they had big concerns over what children and young people could see online when using public WiFi on their phones, tablets and consoles. It was agreed that as a minimum requirement access to pornographic websites and child abuse images should be blocked and last August the UK’s main WiFi providers added filters to all of their standard public WiFi services to do just that. David Cameron went one step further and requested that an independent body should be put in place to run a nationwide scheme to check and verify on an ongoing basis that public WiFi services were monitored and access to inappropriate material remain blocked.

Register your interest today by emailing fw@rdi-online.co.uk. Read more at www.friendlywifi.co.uk

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