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

February 20, 2019



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.


Public WiFi users 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 HTTPS sites surpasses 70% of all the existing sites and grows by the day.