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Working Wireless in the Office? You Need to Know who has Access.

By Office Space TorontoIn standard28th May, 2015
This image looks like stock image of a man working on laptop in a bar, but it was custom photo.

WiFi on the road is great, but be sure that you are logging onto a secure WiFi Connection.

As Wi-Fi technology improved and faster speeds resulted, businesses who did not want the expense of running wires all through their offices started to look more seriously at Wi-Fi. With the help of stronger signals and better equipment, the Wi-Fi alternative started to become more popular.

While businesses use repeaters and wireless access points to maximize the strength of connection in their office space, small businesses found that these solutions could also be scaled to their needs. In a smaller office space for rent, you may only need one access point!

Today you cannot go down the street and have your device telling you of available WiFi access points. Today, just about every location – from coffee shops and restaurants, librarys, bookstores and many other places – offers Wi-Fi. You can now even get Wi-Fi when traveling by plane, bus or train. Even when no free hotspots are available, most smartphones allow you to create your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot. These options allow you to stay on top of you small business and keep in touch with your office files. Just be sure that they are 100% secure.

Proponents of Wi-Fi will still tell you that it is the best. But they may forget to tell you that your not-open-air-wired connection is still safer in terms of being hacked compared to your Wi-Fi connection. We are not saying that your Wi-Fi is not safe. You just to be more vigilant in the networks you connect to. As a small business owner, you have to consider the Wi-Fi networks you or your staff are connected to – especially networks that are public. Your small business could be at risk when using an open and unsecured Wi-Fi connection.

Our office space offers clients both wired and wireless connections, but it is important to note that we do not offer Wi-Fi  connections without a verified log-in that we assign to each client. This means that our network is safe and that hackers are not welcome. We do not monitor content on our network, but we do monitor for suspicious activity and hack attempts on our network while providing the best protection we can for those using it.

When you are thinking about your small business office networking, you need to think security before convenience. Yes, Wi-Fi is the cheapest way to offer a shared network connection to your staff. But are you putting your company data at risk by not securing your office connection?

Tips on Safely Accessing Wi-Fi Hotspots

There are ways of staying safe on free, non-secure Wi-Fi connections, the first of which is by turning off sharing in your computer setting. This also means turning off your network discovery. You should also consider changing the settings on your laptop, tablet and/or mobile devices so that they do not automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi – even ones they have been logged into previously! That way, you have more control over when and how your device uses public Wi-Fi.

By using HTTPS (for visiting websites) or enabling SSL (when using applications that access the internet, such as an email client) encrypts, the data that is being passed back and forth between your device and that web server is kept away from prying eyes. There are also browser add-ons and plug-ins that can help by forcing the browser to use encryption on popular websites that usually are not encrypted. They don’t protect you on all websites – just remember to look for https in the URL to know a site is secure.

Make sure the Wi-Fi host you are using is trustworthy. It is not that hard for someone to set up a Wi-Fi hot spot that is named similarly to the one that you are intending to access. Hackers can set up a man-in-the-middle attack (see wikipedia) on a Wi-Fi connection to make you think it is a legitimate source while fooling you into using it.

If you regularly access online accounts through Wi-Fi hotspots, consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs encrypt traffic between your computer and the internet, even on unsecured networks. You can get a personal VPN account from a VPN service provider. VPN options are also available for mobile devices. They can encrypt information you send through mobile apps.