stay different. stay real.

Free WiFi Rules – Or Does It?

wifiYou need to know some basic security guidelines.

I don’t know about you, but it really ticks me off when hotel’s charge for WiFi – what age are they living in for goodness sake? Being connected is a way of life these days, no matter what age we are we have all become used to being connected to our friends and family, and when it comes to business our office expects to be able to reach us, as do our customers.

Sometimes, even when one pays to be connected the signal is weak and glitchy and that frustrates me even more – now I’m spending money and I can’t even watch a YouTube video!

What made me think of this was staying at the Richmond Accents Inns the other day where the WiFi was not only free, but easy to connect to, and blazingly fast. My wife and I were even able to watch Netflix in bed with not a single blip in the signal. Now that’s what I call a good deal.

Great free Wi-FiSpeaking of WiFi there are a few things to consider when using any public WiFi network.

  • Not all WiFi is secure, particularly hot spots such as those in coffee shops. Most are unsecured and hackers can have a field day accessing your passwords, account information and more. This is so even if the site asks for a password, or you have to go through a log-in process.
  • Did you know that Hackers can access your passwords from your registry? They can also plant something on your computer that enables them to ‘see’ your keyboard strokes. There are programs you can add to your browser that will store your passwords in the cloud, which believe it or not is safer than storing them on your computer.
  • Both PCs and Macs have inbuilt security that many people don’t make use of. Check your security settings and block all incoming traffic and disable file sharing. If you don’t know how, simple Google it, or search YouTube to find a video that will take you step-by-step through the process.
  • Did you know there’s a way to see how safe a website is? You are probably familiar with http://www. but have you ever noticed that some web addresses have a ’s’ on the end e.g. https://www? – that ’s’ means the site encrypts your activity. When you reserve a room at an Accent Inns you will go to: see the ’s’? It means you’re safe!
  • Lastly don’t connect to any old network, make sure you know it’s not a Hacker site. If you’re in a coffee shop you don’t know it only takes a second to ask one of the staff what their WiFi site is called. You may be surprised to discover that the site you thought was theirs has nothing to do with them at all and everything to do with someone trying to steal your information.

Thinking about WiFi safety, or safe WiFi, led me to follow up with John Espley, Accent’s marketing manager to learn more about Accent Inns WiFi; he told me that their WiFi is encrypted and secure. “Providing a fast and safe Wi-Fi experience is something we’ve really invested in for our guests”. A 5mg dedicated pipe provides the great speed I experienced and their several modems strategically placed around the property provide the very best access possible.

So, free WiFi can rule – you just have to be careful – and stay at the right hotel of course!

Mike Wicks
Blue Beetle Creative