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How to Filter WiFi in Public Spaces and Venues

A WiFi Risk Report conducted by Norton found that over half of those asked would readily share their personal information in order to connect to a strong WiFi signal. This shows just how reliant today’s society is becoming on WiFi and staying connected. And because it’s highly likely that people of all ages may be using this service,  safeguarding it against inappropriate and potentially harmful material is essential and more important than ever. 

 

Let's discuss how to do this.

 

Where to Start with WiFi Filtering

This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have no idea where to start. The first step is to find a Friendly WiFi-accredited provider to help you with filtering requirements. 

 

Friendly WiFi is an important quality to look for in establishments as it’s a government-initiated safe certification standard for public WiFi. Approved venues or locations which display the symbols indicate that the WiFi would be filtered for inappropriate content, making it safe for users of all ages to browse.

 

You’ll find that there’s a lot involved in filtering WiFi and there are providers which claim to offer this service. However, try and opt for one which has been ISO certified. This means your data is secure and the processes involved will continually be refined. 

 

Why Should You Offer Public WiFi Filtering?

WiFi filtering may not sound like something which would affect your business too much, however, it’s much more important than you might think. It’s predicted that by 2020, the number of public WiFi hotspots will boom to 432.5 million.  

 

This figure becomes worrying when you take into account facts like over half of the WiFi used worldwide isn’t filtered for adult material and since January of this year, almost 4.4 billion people are actively using the internet. 

 

Without a filter, children and vulnerable people are in danger of being exposed to inappropriate, explicit and/or illegal material which could harm their wellbeing.  This can also reflect extremely negatively on the establishment in which they were able to access it.  

 

Having Friendly WiFi means access to specific types of websites can be blocked, such as adult content, illegal materials, explicit videos and restricted videos.  

 

accreditation-friendly-wifi-logo-@2x

 

To be permitted to display the Friendly WiFi symbol, an organisation must meet minimum filtering standards. These standards show that the WiFi offered does not permit access to indecent and inappropriate materials. 

 

As well as safeguarding users from inappropriate content, Friendly WiFi also protects users’ data from cybercrime. For example, entering personal information and details using WiFi and the internet could potentially result in the theft of information. 

 

However, providing a content-filtered internet connection can aid in shielding your network from unsafe websites and content - avoiding these potential issues of data breaches.  

 

Why Is It Important to Find the Right WiFi Provider? 

 

When you’re providing public WiFi service, you need to ensure that what you’re offering is safe, fast and secure.

 

The right WiFi provider can help with this, offering many features for your venue’s visitors, such as: 

 

  • Enhanced safety
  • Faster connection speeds
  • A boost in customer satisfaction

Enhanced Safety 

 

The safety features previously used by the majority of WiFi networks - like email registration and password protection - may be seen as time-consuming or too much effort, but they are as important as they always were.

 

17% of customers use unsecured public WiFi to carry out mobile banking and 87% use it to check their emails. This is a significant amount of sensitive data in danger of a security breach. When choosing a provider, be sure to look for ones which offer important security measures to help protect your WiFi users.  

 

Faster Connection Speeds 

 

In addition to the fact that the WiFi service should be filtered and safe for use by everyone, the connection should be high-speed and fully secure. The public expect to be able to use WiFi connections to complete any activity they wish - whether it be receiving instant social media updates or streaming the latest episode of a series they follow. 

 

As 40 to 50% of people stream videos on their mobile devices, a strong WiFi connection is necessary to cater to their expectations of the service and the activities they use it for.

 

When choosing a WiFi provider, it’s crucial to look for one which can provide in-depth analytics and insight into your visitors’ habits and preferences. Why? Because this information can allow you to learn more about your visitors, - such as dwell times, overall time spent at your venue and which areas they visit. 

 

This data allows you to see the amount of people who could potentially be connected to your WiFi at different times throughout the day, meaning you can adjust the structure of your network to account for the number of devices connected and where these devices may be. 

 

This ensures the number of devices connected won’t compromise the speed available.

 

Boosts Customer Satisfaction 

 

The ability to integrate loyalty schemes and customer-tailored offers into WiFi systems, based on the information gathered through the provision of a WiFi connection, is invaluable. Research has found that approximately 80% of a company’s sales are carried out by a mere 20% of its customers - which shows just how much influence customer purchases have on overall sales.  

 

Additionally, over 75% of customers are involved with a minimum of one loyalty scheme and loyal customers have been found to, on average, spend 70% more than new customers. 

 

Therefore, it’s essential that customers are nurtured further into loyalty and rewarded to encourage their repeated business. Opt for a WiFi provider which offers a branded splash page for your venue.

 

This has a great impact on brand awareness and you can even seamlessly integrate features such as loyalty schemes - meaning customers don’t have the inconvenience of opening numerous web pages. 

This improves the customers’ experience with your brand, encouraging loyalty.

 

What Should You Do Now? 

 

Friendly, filtered WiFi is an increasingly important service for companies to offer their customers. Fast, safe and secure WiFi is now more of a prerequisite than a luxury. But as you can see, it’s not just your customers who can benefit from it. 

 

The great customer service offered by such a tool improves your brand image and awareness, thanks to a branded splash page, integrated loyalty schemes and valuable data based on your visitors’ habits and preferences (which you can use to better plan your venue’s resources).

 

This can ultimately boost satisfaction and happiness among your visitors, encouraging repeat business and higher revenue. 

 

Get More Information About How You Can Improve Customer Engagement Through WiFi 

 

Communication with customers is crucial. New customers should be nurtured while the loyalty of existing customers should be acknowledged for it to be maintained.

 

That’s why we’ve created a Customer Engagement Guide which gives valuable information from how to begin the conversation to the tools required to successfully build up repeat business. 

 

Click the link below to get your free copy now.

 

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Rebecca Duffin

Rebecca Duffin

Rebecca Duffin

Rebecca is a creative, design-lead marketer with endless enthusiasm. She has worked for WiFi SPARK since 2012 and has an in depth understanding of all elements of the business. She leads the design and development of all marketing materials, the SPARK® system, heads up the Social Media marketing for the brand, and liaises directly with partners.