Do you offer Wi-Fi access to your customers? Read on if you do and you are not yet providing a filtered Internet service.

Businesses that offer their customers free Wi-Fi access provide more value and offering free Wi-Fi can help to attract new business. The provision of Wi-Fi does not come at a great cost, and the low cost of providing free WiFi can be easily recovered. Retailers, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops that provide a free Wi-Fi service encourage customers to remain for longer, which can result in more sales. Many people actively seek out businesses that have a free Wi-Fi service. If it was a toss-up between a café with free Wi-Fi and one without, the coffee would have to be considerably better to make up for the lack of Internet access.

Providing Wi-Fi access is however not without risk. If controls are not implemented on the Wi-Fi network to restrict certain online activities, businesses and other public hotspot providers could be exposed to legal risk if their Wi-Fi network is used for illegal activities. Wi-Fi access could also be abused by customers, who could hog bandwidth by downloading large files or using bandwidth-heavy websites, preventing others from accessing the Internet or slowing down page load speeds. Customers could also use the free access for viewing inappropriate web content such as pornography, in full view of other customers. There have been many reports of patrons of libraries doing just that in the United States.

Anyone who uses public Wi-Fi is taking a risk, as public Wi-Fi networks often lack security. There is a risk of a malware infection when connecting, and Internet connections can be monitored, and sensitive information stolen. Cybercriminals often frequent establishments offering free Wi-Fi to prey on the unwary by creating evil twin Wi-Fi networks and eavesdropping on connections.

Businesses offering free Wi-Fi access may not be able to block all types of cyberattack, but they can implement protections to reduce the risk of their customers being harmed. The way to do this is to provide a filtered Internet service.

Businesses that filter the Internet can prevent customers from unwittingly accessing web pages hosting phishing kits and sites known to be used for malware distribution. Internet speed can be kept fast by blocking access to certain types of online activities, especially with a filtering mechanism that allows time-based controls to be implemented. During busy times, access to websites that consume a lot of bandwidth, such as TV and video streaming sites, could be restricted and relaxed at quieter times. Filtering the Internet creates a family-friendly Internet service, which will help to protect minors from coming to harm. A filtered Internet service can attract more business from families especially by signing up for the Friendly Wi-Fi scheme.

It is recommended to block websites promoting hate speech and discrimination, child abuse, drugs, weapons, and pornography to create a sanitized Internet service. Filtering the Internet to block illegal activities such as copyright-infringing file downloads, such as pirated music, videos, and software can reduce legal risk and is also recommended.

As an added advantage, Internet filtering solutions can provide insights into customer behavior. Businesses can get a real-time view of Internet activity, can generate reports of the sites and content that are being accessed, and that can be incredibly valuable for guiding future marketing efforts. If a business can see the sites visited by their customers, they will know the types of sites they should advertise on to get the maximum benefit.

Filtering the Internet is not expensive, but the benefits are considerable. The easiest way of filtering the Internet is to use a DNS filtering solution. DNS filtering solutions can be easily implemented and will not affect Internet speed. They require no hardware purchases, and many implementations filter in the cloud, so require no software downloads.

WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi from TitanHQ has been developed to make offering customers a filtered Internet service as simple as possible. Users do not need to be IT experts, as the solution is intuitive and simple to set up, use, and maintain. It requires a simple configuration change, which the TitanHQ support team will talk you through implementing, and you can log in to the web portal and filter categories of Internet content you wish to restrict.

WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi is a powerful, feature-rich Internet filtering solution, but for many businesses, it is a set and forget solution. Set your policy and forget about it. Whatever reports or alerts you need can be configured to be sent to you automatically.

If you provide either free or paid Wi-Fi access, and you are not yet offering a filtered Internet service, give the TitanHQ team for more information about WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi. A product demonstration can be scheduled if you need it, and you can try the full solution free of charge – with full support – before deciding about a purchase. The team will also be happy to answer any questions you may have about Internet filtering.