4 shared WiFi mistakes you don’t want to make as a business

One important and simple way to accommodate the boom in new devices and attract customers to your premises is to source a reliable WiFi connection and allow your customers stable access to the internet from your premises. Here are 4 mistakes you should avoid if you want to benefit from setting up WiFi at your business property:

1. Consider WiFi an unnecessary expenditure

Instead of simply considering public WiFi at your place of business as another unwanted and unnecessary expenditure on top of numerous other bills, we could also look upon an investment in WiFi as a pro-active marketing investment. WiFi can be a quid pro-pro between yourself and the customer; in exchange for free WiFi, businesses can require a “share” on a social media network or a sign-up to a business mailing list.

If one in ten customers to your premises shares to their social media network of, for example, 500 people, this provides instant exposure to a broader range of potential customers than many more expensive and less efficient marketing options.

Suddenly a thorough WiFi infrastructure is less a sunk cost and more a sound investment in your brand.

2. Risk the security of your internal data

Protecting your private information in cyberspace is no different to in the physical world – you do not want anyone to have access to sensitive business data. If there are any more than a few users of the shared WiFi it is highly recommended to set up a private, encrypted network so that only certain users can access relevant internal files.

3. Use your residential account for public services

“But I have WiFi at my house, surely I can just set up a box on a regular account and get going?” Buried in the depths of the terms and conditions for regular broadband connections there is normally a clause that stipulates residential WiFi is not to be used for public services. Due to the Digital Economy Act 2010, on a residential account you can be held liable for every user of the internet. This is not problematic if it is just family members around the house but you do not want to be held liable for the behaviour of every member of the public that comes through your doors. Business accounts normally have built-in regulations to safeguard this and make them a more sensible option.

4. Underestimate your role in data protection

Businesses must gather and secure information on WiFi activity. Due to the Anti-Terrorism Act 2001, you need to hold online data, in case information needs to be used for anti-crime or anti-terror proceedings. This means keeping a record of User ID’s, dates and times of websites accessed and the URL’s visited, and to hold on to the data for a period of 12 months after it is first logged. The Data Protection Act requires you to ensure that no unauthorised parties can access and use this data.

To further discuss your options and any pitfalls, get in contact and we would be pleased to help.

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