Safer Internet Day 2017: Are you #WifiSavvy?

Warwickshire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are asking Warwickshire residents whether they are #wifisavvy as part of Safer Internet Day 2017.

Today, Tuesday 7 February, is Safer Internet Day, which sees organisations around the country come together to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for everyone. As part of this celebration, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Team and the Office of Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner are launching a new compaign to ask residents to think about how they access free wifi connections when they are out and about in the county.

The pilot scheme, under the #wifisavvy banner, will be piloted in Warwick and will see businesses that offer free wifi displaying posters with a commitment to their customers that:

  • They have changed the admin password of their router from its default setting;
  • They have disabled remote management to the router completely;
  • They are committed to using reliable encryption (WPA2 as minimum); and
  • They ensure that their router is regularly updated with the latest software.

In addition to this, all customers will be advised:

  • to be aware of their surroundings, to make sure no one is watching them type when using wifi in public locations;
  • to get the correct Identification for public wifi to ensure that they do not inadvertently access spoofed or insecure wifi connections;
  • to keep their internet security up-to-date and to always use a firewall; and
  • to avoid using free, public wifi to do things like personal banking or online shopping.

Phillip Seccombe, Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“Criminals are becoming ever-more sophisticated and with the numbers of people making use of wifi in public places to access the internet on phones, tablets and laptop computers, the chances of becoming a victim of cyber crime are growing. Alongside ongoing work by the police to catch cyber criminals, we can all do our bit to stay safe by following the tips to become #wifisavvy. I’m please to see the scheme launch in Warwick and I’d encourage further businesses to take part.”

Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said:

“With the prevalence of businesses offering free wifi increasing exponentially all the time, it is really important for residents to take responsibility for their online safety when accessing free wifi in public locations. There are very simple steps everyone can take to ensure their online safety and I hope to see everyone becoming more #wifisavvy as a result of this campaign.”

Cllr Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added:

“It’s fantastic to see so many local businesses coming forward to say that they would like to be part of the #wifisavvy pilot. Warwickshire is a great county for business and this is yet further evidence of that fact. I would urge all our residents to look out for the wifisavvy posters when accessing free wifi in Warwickshire.”

For more information about the #wifisavvy scheme, please visit: http://www.warwickshirebusinesswatch.co.uk/

If you are a local business offering free wifi and would like to be one of the pilot locations for the #wifisavvy scheme, please contact Alex Williams, Business Crime Advisor, by email: alexcharleswilliams@warwickshire.gov.uk or Telephone: (02476) 483163

More information about safer internet day 2017 is available on the UK Safer Internet Centre Website: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2017/about-safer-internet-day

If you want the latest news on online scams and hack attacks, follow @safeinwarwickshire on Twitter and like them on Facebook.