Wi-Fi Issues and Security for Small Businesses
by TUCU Managed IT Services in Toronto
WiFi Security & Solutions For Businesses
Is your small business having issues with Wi-Fi connection? Are you experiencing spotty service? Unfortunately, potential Wi-Fi problems don’t end with an unreliable connection. In addition to these concerns, small business owners also have to worry about securing their data so it isn’t accessed, tampered with, or stolen. By taking a few precautions, you can protect your online accounts, user privacy, and company files, and save yourself significant headaches in the future.
Common Problems with WiFi
The typical small business in today’s world uses internet technology on a daily basis. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunities for something to go wrong. Some of the most common issues we see regarding Wi-Fi in small business settings include:
• Environmental Interference: Thick walls, steel, plaster, electrical interruptions, and outside interference are all environmental variables that contribute to poor Wi-Fi connection.
• Poor Configuration: Poor initial setup or inadequate settings can lead to a myriad of Wi-Fi problems.
• Inadequate Security: A computer network security plan is a necessity for small business owners. By encrypting private information, you can rest assured that your data is safe. This is especially important for businesses such as medical offices or government websites, that contain highly sensitive information.
Tips to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network
When Wi-Fi routers are purchased and installed, they are not secure unless you enable encryption. This can lead to nearby people connecting to your network, which can significantly slow your connections. Most concerning, however, is that individuals who access your unsecured Wi-Fi could potentially hijack your accounts, steal your information, and capture your passwords.
Securing your Wi-Fi and increasing security can be achieved through following a few guidelines. These include:
• Choose the Correct Wi-Fi Security Option: When changing wireless security options, be sure to select the right level of protection. These options typically include WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WEP is not a good option for small businesses, as it offers the lowest amount of protection.
• Enable WPA2 on Your Network: Depending on how many users you have within the office, you will want to choose either WPA or WPA2. However, we find that most business owners will benefit from WPA2, as it offers the highest level of protection.
• Incorporate Guest Wi-Fi: If you opt to offer customers, clients, or patients free Wi-Fi access, be sure you set up a separate access point for them. You should never, under any circumstances, allow a guest to access your main network.
• Keep Your Network Gear in an Inconspicuous Location: So that guests and visitors do not have any physical access to your main network, it is important to keep your gear in a safe and discreet location.
• Consider VPN for Using Wi-Fi Outside the Office: If you frequently conduct business outside of the office, it is important to use a VPN (virtual private network) connection. This will direct all of your Internet traffic to an encrypted tunnel, which will secure your data and prevent your information from being compromised.
• Only Use Encrypted Websites Outside the Office: If you decide not to use a VPN, at the very least, you should make sure the sites your visit while out of the office are encrypted. An easy way to tell is a website is secure is to add an “s” to the end of http:// while browsing. Typically, a notification will inform you if the site is secure. If you do not see a notification, it could indicate the site is not secure. If this is the case, it is best to wait until you are on a private network again.
Toronto WiFi Solutions Providers: If you are a small business owner in Toronto or the GTA, and would like to learn more about secure Wi-Fi solutions you can have installed, contact TUCU. We can help you keep your sensitive information protected. We have been implementing network solutions since 2003 and will be happy to help you.
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