Offering customers free Wi-Fi is the current norm. Have you considered your customers’ online security when they log onto your free Wi-Fi network? You want your customers to feel safe when they are in your store, and this includes when they use your free Wi-Fi.
Free Wi-Fi requires no authentication to establish a Wi-Fi network. Hackers can, therefore, gain unlimited access to unsecured devices on the Wi-Fi network.
It means that instead of connecting directly to the Wi-Fi network, customer data will first pass through the hacker then onto the Wi-Fi network.
Hackers position themselves between the Wi-Fi network and unsecured devices to access user data first. In this way, they can steal vital information such as passwords or credit card information.
Allowing file sharing across a network, will enable hackers to infect files with malicious software which can later install itself on your computer. Some hackers have managed to hack the Wi-Fi connection points and have installed their pop-up windows that appear when customers log onto the Wi-Fi network. When users click on the window, malware is installed.
You can see from the above list that free Wi-Fi can be a hacker’s hotspot.
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that lets users access the worldwide web privately and safely by routing the internet connection through a server and hiding the user’s online footprint. Simply put, VPN’s act as cyber bodyguards that protects (through the encryption process) all data being exchanged over an internet connection.
Users must run VPN software separately for every device they own.
As a business owner, can you get customers to use a VPN especially if they are unaware of the risks of using Wi-Fi networks without a VPN?
Can you, as a business owner, protect your customers from falling victim to cyber-crime as a result of ignorance?
Yes, you can.
VPN routers protect numerous devices at the same time while these devices are connected to a Wi-Fi network. Since the Wi-Fi router is also a VPN router, users are automatically protected.
Although VPN routers are expensive, buying one is a long-term investment. Although the VPN router itself is costly, monthly subscriptions to VPN services for VPN software that is running continuously is quite cheap.
Users may experience limited bandwidth. The more devices are connected to the VPN router, the slower the connection. Not all VPN services are slow, so the speed will depend on who the VPN service provider is.
When hoping around for a VPN router remember that not all routers have a pre-installed VPN. Also, not all routers support a VPN service or run VPN software. ISP modems are not compatible with VPN routers. ISP modems consist of a modem and router device.
Although pre-flashed routers are more expensive than other VPN routers, it saves you the hassle of installing VPN software and is one of the most convenient VPN router options. This router comes with additional benefits including encrypted plug and play.
VPN compatible routers come ready to use out of the box, pre-installed with VPN software that also supports OpenVPN protocol which allows users to use a VPN service provider of their choice.
This is the most complicated process. You will have to install new VPN software onto the operating system of your router. This success of flashing new firmware will depend on the limitations of the router and its operating system. This process involves:
Additional steps include:
The easiest, hassle-free option is to use a pre-flashed router to ensure that your customers are protected when they use your free store Wi-Fi.
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