Public Internet connections are convenient but potentially risky if you don’t take a few precautions.
Walk into any coffee shop or hotel lobby and you’ll witness one of the most obvious signs of our times: People of all ages and vocations browsing the web and checking email from their smartphones or laptops. If you get close enough to see what’s on their screens, you might even see some of these road warriors accessing business applications in the cloud, such as a salesperson checking into their customer relationship management (CRM) database or preparing for a meeting in an online collaboration space. But you have to wonder: how secure is that connection?
Before you give your employees the go-ahead to work outside the office, make sure they know how to securely log in to your small business network from Wi-Fi hotspots. Otherwise, any information they transmit could be up for grabs, from their email password to credit card numbers to confidential business data. After all, a public hotspot is essentially a network for unknown and risky computers, and you never know who may be lurking online to capture your critical data.