Even as customers expect businesses to provide free WiFi, they are concerned about security. Small businesses can ease their minds—and protect their own data—by having their guest WiFi separate from their employee network (a physical separation offered by Optimum Online). You should also have passwords that are conveniently displayed in your establishment and changed periodically.
Giving customers free Wi-Fi has become a necessary part of doing business. While you want to provide WiFi to your customers, you also want to ensure that your data is protected—which is a delicate balancing act.
Here’s how you can make your public WiFi safer:
• Stay separate, but equal. Your guest network should be completely separate from your business applications and data. With Optimum WiFi, customer data is physically separated from your Optimum Online service. This means that your data remains secure and that your speed is not affected by customers using your hotspot.
• Be careful with passwords. Providing the log-on password only to customers can improve your security and keep loiterers out of your business. It’s commonly suggested to use your Point-of-Sale (POS) system to print out the WiFi password at the bottom of the receipt, which some believe leads to more sales. If you want to put a simpler process in place, notes Darren Buckner, founder of Workfrom, a guide of coffee shops and shared work spaces, consider changing your password periodically and displaying it prominently for your patrons, such as on a menu board or prominent sign.
• Include terms of agreement. If you operate WiFi like most small businesses, you have “open guest access,” which means you don’t encrypt data or take other steps to secure the data that people are sending over the WiFi network. You can include a terms of agreement notification, which people are required to accept before using the network, to protect them and yourself by having acknowledge such risks.
Optimum Online subscribers who make their business a hotspot get the best of both worlds—they keep their own data safe while offering a valuable service that will make their customers happy and more likely to return.
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