Why there is a necessity to protect public WiFi hotspots at cafes

A freely available WiFi is a must for most cafes that often have to compete with one another to attract more guests to stay afloat. Patrons and visitors just love connecting to public WiFi, the cafes offer. People do that for a range of reasons – for working out of a cafe, which is nowadays in vogue with millennials, for studying, entertainment, finding important info online, etc. 

While in a cafe, no visitor expects to get his/her WiFi-connected device infected with malware. Actually, the public wireless network of the cafe is equally at risk from malware infected user devices. From them, malware can easily get onto this network, lurking there for quite a long time, penetrating and damaging other user devices and the cafe’s network proper.

As a public WiFi user, you might be in for a nasty surprise when the information, stored on your device, is encrypted with ransomware and cyber criminals demand money from you to have this info decrypted. It's no fun when user devices at public WiFi hotspots are hijacked by internet bad actors to mine cryptocurrency. Nobody wants to be tricked into leaving his/her personal and corporate info by following a phishing link inadvertently. However, all of these things happen on a daily basis on wireless networks at cafes, restaurants and scores of other public venues with free WiFi. 

The worst part of it is that such things can at first go unnoticed by cafe visitors. They just face the unpleasant and even disastrous consequences of a malware or ransomware infection and/or loss of personal and corporate information to phishers. When the users suspect that an unsecured wireless network connection at a cafe has led to such issues, they definitely feel disappointed and let down by cafe owners and managers. These guests are unlikely to return to the cafe and to recommend anybody visiting this place.

Besides, a bad experience emanates stronger emotions which cafe guests readily share with family, friends, colleagues off- and online – on social media, locally popular chats, forums, etc. No cafe needs such publicity.

Guest with kids often allow them to connect to public WiFi to let the children mind their own business, so grown-ups could enjoy a quiet moment, talking to each other – without the need to keep a watchful eye on the kids every single second. Do you think these adults would appreciate it if this public WiFi network is child-friendly? Without a doubt, we’d say!

Parents are hardly thrilled at the idea that teens and even younger kids come to cafes to use public WiFi with no web filtering on it. Via an entirely unrestricted WiFi the teens can surf to any sites imaginable – be it ones with age-inappropriate and adult-only content or pure porn websites. 

For the previous 3 years dozens of publications have reported that under-age children access porn content in several of the world’s biggest fast food chains and in venues of the largest coffeehouse chain all over the US and beyond. The venues’ management often got complaints from their own staff and guests about these occurrences but there was little the management could do without a web filtering solution. 

How DNS filtering can help you to protect public WiFi

Among web filtering solutions, DNS filtering is one of the best for public WiFi providers and owners of guest WiFi hotspots as DNS filtering is the 1st line of defense against malicious and phishing resources, pornography, child and adult sexual abuse and any other unwanted content.

Based on analyzing and resolving DNS queries, DNS filtering allows users to entirely block any unwanted website. No matter how many web pages this website contains – with a DNS filtering solution on, not a single web page, out of the ones the site has, will be available to users of public WiFi hotspots. 

And DNS filters block access to harmful and disagreeable content proactively – before it is loaded in the web browser. Thus, wireless network users will come to no harm, whether they intentionally try to reach dangerous sites or do it unwittingly. 

Unlike other filtering techniques, DNS filtering blocks HTTP and HTTPS sites equally well which is vital now, when the number of the HTTPS sites surpasses 70% of all the existing sites and grows by the day. 

If you have multiple WiFi hotspots to filter at cafes situated across a city/county/state/country, it will be wise to choose a cloud-based DNS filter providing centralized management for all of your hotspots and locations, the kind of web filtering SafeDNS provides. 

Make sure the chosen DNS filter provides granular, multi-policy web filtering with an opportunity to tweak your filtering settings online, from anywhere on the internet. With the SafeDNS solution for filtering public WiFi networks you will be able to have an individual, per hotspot set of filtering rules, that fits a particular audience. As it is obvious that public WiFi in a family-oriented cafe in a shopping mall, for example, definitely needs a stricter web filtering than a bar or pub, frequented by adults only. In such establishments it might be enough to just block malware propagating and phishing sites to ensure your patrons and visitors are protected against these cyber threats. 

What advantages DNS filtering brings managers and owners of cafes with public WiFi

With the deployment of DNS filtering managers and owners of cafes with public WiFi benefit in a number of ways. First and foremost, they improve internet security of their WiFi users and safeguards its business reputation. 

Secondly, using a DNS filter the management avoids guest complaints that at cafes where children are present, explicit sites are available and actively accessed by some visitors. A filtered public WiFi, free from age-inappropriate and gross content, contributes to kids’ safety and well-being and parents’ peace of mind. The more comfortable environment, including the online one, you manage to create, the more visitors you’ll be able to attract. 

A multi-policy web filtering is indispensable for those cafe owners who have establishments targeting different audiences. At each of your locations you can adapt the filtering solution to your exact needs, so you could manage access to the public WiFi as is necessary. 

A regular check of public WiFi usage stats, your web filter delivers, can help you better understand what internet resources and online content categories are most popular with your guests. The high quality SafeDNS cloud service for web content filtering delivers detailed statistics which come in handy to have a deeper understanding of your audiences’ interests and target your online ads more precisely.

Would you like to enjoy all the benefits DNS filtering can provide cafes with publicly available wireless networks? If so, protect your cafe’s WiFi hotspots right now with a reliable DNS filtering solution that meets your own and guests’ needs. 

Make a point you use DNS filtering at your place – let your patrons and visitors know your public WiFi is safe and family-friendly. Make it a competitive advantage, so DNS filtering can help to attract ever more guests.

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