Everyone loves being able to connect to Wi-Fi for free when they are out and about. For this reason, many associations offer free Wi-Fi in community areas, so residents can surf the web without using up any data. However, there are some risks involved with public Wi-Fi, so check out these five regulations your HOA should consider.
Require a Password if Possible
Many public Wi-Fi connections don't require a password. You simply click the signal and are connected. This is incredibly dangerous because you don't know who is connected. An identity thief could sneak into your neighborhood and get all your information while you're lounging at the pool. If possible, the HOA should require a password to connect to the Wi-Fi. They should change it regularly and post it on the members-only portion of the HOA website.
Don't Make Financial Transactions
It may be a good idea to urge residents not to make any financial transactions while they are using public Wi-Fi. If someone connects to your device and you use your credit card or debit card or input any other confidential information, it makes it easier for them to steal it.
Turn Off Sharing
Make sure your device's sharing capability is shut off. Even though you aren't going to agree to share your documents with someone you don't know, it makes it easier for them to get into your device remotely and access your information.
Use Secure Connections
When going to a website, make sure you are always using a secure VPN or SSL connection. An easy way to tell if the site is secure is to look at the web address. If it starts with HTTPS, you should be good, but if it is only HTTP, it isn't secure. You can also protect yourself by making sure all websites are set to secure before you access them.
Use Internet Protection
Make sure you have internet protection, including antivirus and anti-malware programs. This is especially important if you are using a Windows laptop or notebook, as they are vulnerable to viruses and malware, both of which can be used to destroy your device and/or steal your information.
If you're going to offer your residents free Wi-Fi in public spaces, it's important to have some guidelines for them to follow to protect themselves. You probably can't force them to follow these guidelines, but if you warn them, it takes the responsibility off the HOA if something does happen.
Offering public Wi-FI is an excellent way to improve resident experience within your community. For additional tips on how you can improve the overall community experience for your residents, download our free guide.