Beware of Public Wireless Networks

It is very common for startup companies, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs to work from the world's largest co-working location, coffee shops.  A good coffee shop provides all the ingredients for a successful workday.

Damgers in Coffee Shop Businesses
  1. Coffee and Drinks (Hydration)
  2. A Desk (a.k.a table and chair)
  3. Food (Fuel)
  4. Free Internet (Access)

I admit, when we were launching this business I spent a lot of hours in coffee shops away from my work desk to be creatively inspired ( I preffered Waterbean Coffee over Starbucks for their superior chairs and couches).  No better way to build a co-working office business than being around people who could use the service the most!  I found this an ideal place to get my tasks accomplished.

However, there is a major risk associated with working in any coffee shop, and I am not talking about high blood pressure or agitation from the caffeine.  I am referring to the free internet that draws so many people in.

Few of us can recall the days when Starbucks charged to use the internet at their cafes.  Back then, we had to be apart of their Gold Card program to get internet usage, and even then it was capped at the time you could utilize it.  Many hotels used to charge for internet as well.  Even further back I can recall when you had to search around for a phone line just to get online and check your email.  Yet, somehow I figured out how to get my work done without a constant internet connection.  Fast forward to today and we need internet access for every aspect of our lives.

Most of us have a decent data plan on our phones.  However, people still opt to use the public internet available.  This is a big problem and huge no-no.  You should never use the free internet in any public location.  It is simply not secure.  Hackers use this connections to capture your login credentials and copy your data without knowing, and it is very easy to do.  in fact, it will be who you least suspect.

There are tools these criminals can purchase that allow this traffic to take place.  Starbucks, or any public wifi, is not concerned about your computer security.  They are only concerned with providing you computer access.  Their is a simple setting that they can set to secure the wifi, yet they don't set this.  This is frustrating yet it isn't going to change.

You are better off to just pair your device to your smartphone.  Connecting to your smartphone gives you control over what is connected and more privacy when working over the internet.  General web traffic doesn't use a lot of data so your plan should be fine, however even if you need to upgrade the data it is worth it.  ID theft is a growing issue in the world and causes a huge hassle for any victim.  Preventing yourself from using public wifi is just one way to reduce your risks. 

Birkdale Office Suites ensures every wife connection is secured to the highest standard.  We utilize top of the line equipment for all of our clients and guests.