Customers today expect businesses to offer them WiFi—and your business could benefit greatly by doing so. After all, surveys have shown that customers prefer, and will return to, businesses that offer them internet access.
That said, it’s critical to separate your internal WiFi network that’s used by employees from the network you provide customers, as you don’t want to risk your business data being compromised by someone who simply stops by your business and accesses your WiFi.
Even when you segregate your guest and business WiFi networks, it’s important to protect your customers and visitors from possible intrusions on your guest WiFi network. How do you secure your business WiFi for customers? Here are five key ways:
Require strong password access
Only your customers and important business guests should have access to your WiFi—as anyone else who accesses it could have bad intentions or unknowingly compromise your network and expose it to security risks. To prevent intruders, it’s a good idea to require anyone using your WiFi network to log on using a strong, hard-to-crack password, says Stefan Schulz, owner of the web development agency Orpical Group in Marlton, New Jersey, and operator of a cybersecurity blog.
“A good password should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers and symbols,” Schulz says. Also, change the password regularly, such as weekly or monthly, and put it in a place where only your customers or other important business guests can see and access it.
Enable encryption on your router
Your business wireless router should have settings that allow you to encrypt data on all devices that access that network and prevent that data from being intercepted by someone else on the network. Providing encryption is an easy, free way to improve your customers’ cybersecurity.
To check if encryption is enabled, log into your router’s administrator console. You will then want to make sure that at least WPA2 encryption is set.
Use your router’s firewall
Likewise, your wireless router probably has a built-in firewall that controls traffic in and out of the internet connection. “A firewall can help to block unauthorized access to your network,” Schulz adds.
Make sure your firewall is enabled to add an extra layer of security to your guest WiFi access.
Keep your equipment in a safe place
Prevent your business guests from tampering with your WiFi router and any access point by putting them in secure locations, such as a locked closet that only employees can access.
Consider whether to disable SSID broadcasting
SSID broadcast is what lets people in the vicinity of a WiFi network know that it exists, by popping up as an available network on their devices. It can be a helpful way to let your guests and anyone near your business know that you offer WiFi access—but at the same time, that may not be a smart move. (Generally speaking, you don’t want to enable SSID broadcasting of your internal WiFi, for business security purposes.)
If you have a restaurant or another business where you want every customer to be able to access WiFi, you should probably enable SSID broadcasting. On the other hand, if you only want certain guests accessing your network, consider turning off SSID.
Your guest WiFi security is an important piece of your business’ overall customer experience. So it only makes sense to take these protective measures to keep it strong.
Spectrum Business Internet customers have access to both low-cost business WiFi and free guest WiFi services. To learn more, contact us at 855-299-9353.Print this article