Why Guest WiFi is a Bad Idea

WiFi is everywhere you go, it seems.  No matter if you’re grabbing a cup of coffee or checking into a hotel for the night, it’s hard to go anywhere where we can’t find easy access to the internet by looking for a WiFi network without a lock on the icon!  But despite the fact they’re easy, an unsecured WiFi network is bad for both you as a customer, as well as your business!  At iTology, we highly recommend using your (albeit expensive) mobile data over an unsecured WiFi network every time!  Today we will briefly cover a few scenarios.  You as a WiFi user, and your business as a WiFi provider.

 

Open WiFi and You

 

In our above example, you’re in line at the local coffee house that you go to every day.  Several months ago you were trying to watch a YouTube video and connected to the available WiFi and haven’t thought about it since.  Today, however, while you wait for your morning dose of caffeine, you decide to buy tickets to a movie that opens tonight!  As you stand in line, you pull out your Credit Card and punch in your card number and excitedly wait for your day to be over.  In the parking lot, however, something very different is happening.  While you were paying for your tickets, someone within range of the unsecured WiFi network was sitting there smiling at his laptop for a very different reason.  Since your device wasn’t using an encrypted connection, he now has your credit card number, and tonight he is planning on eating well!  While this scenario may seem unlikely at the coffee shop where the barista knows your order as soon as you walk in the door, it’s very much possible for this to happen.  And that one time you connected to the network at your favorite fast food chain while you waited for your order?  Now you’re using that network without thinking about it every time you pass by any of their locations!  Making sure all of the networks you connect to are secure means that your data is ONLY your data.

 

Open WiFi and Your Business

 

There’s little that is more frustrating through the course of a day than not having access to the Internet.  When your clients are in your office, you want their experience to be the best that it can be, so you tell your internet provider to add an open WiFi guest network so your clients can have access to what they need while they’re in your office.  But what may be more surprising is that when they have open access to your network, all of the information that you share with your team every day becomes available to anyone within WiFi range!  Those confidential employee files or the plans for your next big product are stored right on your company equipment, and now anyone that walks in has an opportunity to get in and leaf through your digital file cabinets!  Creating even a simple password and controlling who has access to your network means that the only eyes that are looking at your company data are ones you’ve allowed to be there!

 

If you need help making sure your business WiFi is working for you and not everyone, please give one of our iTologists a call today!

Cory Carson