Today in business, offering free Wi-Fi to your customers has become somewhat of the norm. You want your customers to enjoy visiting your store, so why wouldn’t you offer them Wi-Fi? Especially if it keeps them in your store for a bit longer.
But with all the talk in the media about cybersecurity, it’s important to make sure that your customers are safe while using your internet connection. Without proper protection, your Wi-Fi hotspot could be a prime location for hackers trying to steal your customers’ personal information. That’s why we recommend using a VPN router when offering a public Wi-Fi hotspot. This ensures that whoever uses the connection will be safe and protected from hackers and other types of cybercriminals.
But, to fully understand how a VPN router can help ensure data privacy, let’s first take a look at some of the risks that come with using a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Learn more about cybersecurity for business.
You don’t know who else is using the same network
Generally, free Wi-Fi hotspots won’t require any authentication to access the network. This means that it’s easy for hackers or other cybercriminals to gain access to the network and can then target any unsecured devices that are using it.
Hackers can easily spread malware
Allowing for open and unprotected Wi-Fi means that hackers can easily infect malicious software onto any unsecured devices using the network. In this case, these infected files can then later install themselves onto your computer when you plug your device in.
In other cases, hackers have been known to install pop-up windows, which appear when a customer attempts to log onto the network. Then, when a person clicks on the window to access the Wi-Fi, malware is installed onto their device.
Hackers can also interrupt a Wi-Fi’s connection. This means that instead of being directly connected to the network, a customer’s data will first pass through the hacker’s device, before making its way to the public network.
Essentially, the hacker positions themselves between the router and the customer’s unsecured device, which could allow them to steal essential data such as a person’s passwords or credit card information.
By now, it should be easy to understand the risks that are involved in providing free Wi-Fi in your store. But, how can you protect your network and ensure that your customers are safe while browsing on your internet connection?
Use a VPN router
To ensure that your free Wi-Fi is secure, experts recommend using a VPN router to protect your network from hackers and cybercriminals.
Using a VPN is a great start, but it only protects the individual devices that it’s installed on. That said, using a VPN router is the only option that provides you with security across all devices that connect to your network.
A VPN router lets your customers access the internet safely and privately by routing their connection through a private server owned by the VPN provider.
VPN routers simultaneously protect multiple devices at the same time, and since the VPN is integrated directly into the router, your customers will automatically be protected as soon as they connect to your network.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of using a VPN router.
Protects multiple devices
A VPN router will protect multiple devices simultaneously. This includes any smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and smartwatches that may be connected to your network. No matter how many devices are using the network, they will all automatically be protected by the VPN router.
VPN routers are more convenient than VPN software applications since users do not have to enable their VPN software before connecting to the Wi-Fi source. And, because the VPN router runs continuously, users are always protected as soon as they connect to the network.
VPN routers are more compatible than running VPN software. Some VPN applications do not support the use of certain types of devices. However, when you’re using a VPN router, any kind of device that connects to its network will automatically have its data encrypted.
A VPN router is extremely safe and reliable. VPN routers always access the internet via one of your provider’s servers. This means that your customers won’t have to worry about connecting to a VPN service for protection before logging onto your free Wi-Fi.
Protects non-native device
A VPN router even works to protect non-native devices such as an Apple TV or a PlayStation 3, which do not support the use of VPN services. However, because the VPN service is run through the router itself, these devices will still be protected as long as they are connected to your network.
Automatically unblock restricted content
A VPN router will automatically unblock geo-restricted sites such as YouTube. The VPN router allows your customers to connect to the internet through a secure channel, which offers them access to sites and content that would otherwise be blocked.
And, even though your customers may be trying to access censored content, their device, and your network will be safe due to your router’s built-in VPN protection.