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The Best Wi-Fi Advice You’ll Ever Hear

Published on Jul 28, 2016 at 6:49 pm in Tips & Tricks.

The Best Wi-Fi Advice You'll Ever Hear

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Guest Wi-Fi networks are pretty common in Nashville’s coffee shops, hotels and airports. Still, many of Middle Tennessee’s small businesses tend not to have separate Wi-Fi access for their vendors, contractors, clients or other guests. A lack of guest Wi-Fi means companies could be opening up their networks to a heap of potential problems.

Here’s why Nashville companies should have guest Wi-Fi networks (and what dangers lie ahead if you don’t):

1. Network Protection

The most important reason to offer a separate guest Wi-Fi network is data security. It can take less than two seconds for a Wi-Fi attack to infect an open network. Yikes! Just imagine, you could lose important company data or introduce threatening software to your entire network in the blink of an eye.

Foreign devices that are allowed to connect to your primary network could be infected with code that spreads viruses, collects information or sends spam emails. With more than 200 million smartphone users and 166 million tablet users in the U.S., it’s almost inevitable that one will connect to your company’s network (source: Statista). By the time you realize a foreign tablet or laptop has introduced some sort of security breach through your Wi-Fi, it’s likely too late. The damage has been done.

A good rule of thumb is if you don’t pay for or control the anti-virus and management software on a device, it shouldn’t be allowed to join your primary network.

It’s also worth noting that guest networks can provide security for more than just visitors’ internet access. Guest Wi-Fi can be used for things including smart TVs, thermostats and security cameras. Cybercriminals often use these devices to hack into a network, but isolating them on a guest network provides an added layer of protection.

2. Connection Control

If security is the number one reason to offer guest Wi-Fi, then control comes in a close second.

Having a guest Wi-Fi network enables you to manage the bandwidth offered to visitors. This ensures you can offer guests fast internet access without compromising the speed of your employees’ connection. Everybody wins!

Your guest network can also have content filters set up so that visitors can’t access any undesirable or inappropriate websites. And the controls can be different than what is set for your primary network.

A good rule of thumb is if you don’t pay for or control the anti-virus and management software on a device, it shouldn’t be allowed to join your primary network.

The separate password for the guest Wi-Fi also safeguards the access to your main company network. We’ve learned a thing or two about passwords over the years, and they’re an often neglected layer of protection. Primary networks typically have long, complex passwords, as well they should, to help keep your company data safe (if it’s easy to remember, it’s easy to hack). Guest Wi-Fi networks, on the other hand, can use a shorter, simpler password. Just remember: change your passwords often – whether it’s your guest Wi-Fi, your main network access or your smartphone.

We recently heard a story where a company gave a visitor the password to their primary network, and that person proceeded to illegally download confidential files from the private server. Don’t let that happen to you. Studies show that 52% of employees see no risk in sharing passwords. The company is now facing the challenge of regaining control of their network and trying to mitigate the costly effects of the security breach. Keep those primary network passwords to yourselves and keep your network safe.

3. Branding & Marketing

Each time someone joins your guest Wi-Fi network, you can direct them to a branded landing page that features your logo, your people, your mission and marketing content such as a newsletter signup, event invitation or white paper download. Let this page provide value and remind them why they love your business, what they love about it and how they can become more involved.

In Nashville, where we are known for our hospitality, offering your guests their own internet access is just being a good host! Adding a separate guest Wi-Fi network is simply in the best interest of your company and visitors. Protect your employees’ hard work, and don’t be the victim of a preventable security breach![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][wproto_image image=”10751″ link_type=”custom” custom_link=”” image_align=”aligncenter”][/vc_column][/vc_row]