WiFi Filtering for StoresHome / Security Articles / WiFi Filtering for Stores
Many retailers are now realizing the benefits of offering free Internet access to customers; however, many do not consider using WiFi filtering for stores until they experience a problem such as customers accessing pornography instore. Only then is WiFi filtering for stores considered. Yet retailers are not only able to avoid problems such as this; there are in fact many benefits that come from filtering the Internet.
Providing customers with Internet access has been shown to improve customer loyalty and it can certainly increase footfall into a store. Many customers now make decisions about where to shop based on whether the retailer offers free WiFi access.
Providing safe, family-friendly WiFi access is important. Parents are increasingly seeking out retail outlets where they know their children will be able to use their Internet-enabled devices safely and will not inadvertently – or deliberately – view pornographic images or other age-inappropriate material. WiFi filtering for stores will ensure that minors be prevented from viewing inappropriate material. There will also be no chance of customers accidentally viewing pornographic images on other customers’ devices.
WiFi filtering for stores can also be used to filter out other potentially harmful website content: Content that could result in customers experiencing financial losses. Internet filtering solutions can be configured to block websites known to carry a high risk of infecting smartphones and tablets with malware and ransomware.
Many retailers choose to block third party adverts using WiFi filtering for stores. Cybercriminals are increasingly using these ad-blocks to show malicious adverts that download malware. These ad blocks are even used on popular websites such as the BBC, Yahoo, and the New York Times. All of these sites have been discovered to have displayed malicious adverts.
These adverts can infect devices even without any user interaction. They can automatically direct website visitors to malicious sites where malware is downloaded. Blocking the adverts eliminates the risk. It also prevents competitor’s adverts from being displayed, which could convince customers not to make a purchase.
Retailers may be reluctant to offer free WiFi in stores as it could potentially make it easier for customers to view the websites of competitors to make price comparisons. It is inevitable that some customers will want to perform a price comparison before committing to a purchase and will check prices online. However, it may be better for that process to take place instore. Should retailers want to restrict access to competitor websites via their WiFi connections, it is easy to block specific websites with WiFi filtering for stores. Websites such as Amazon.com for example may be appropriate to block as they usually always beat bricks and mortar stores on price.
Ensuring sufficient bandwidth is available for all customers can be a problem. If WiFi is offered to visitors to a store, but they are prevented from using it because there is insufficient bandwidth available, the benefits will be lost. When customers connect to instore WiFi their devices may start downloading updates for apps. They may also use instore WiFi for video or audio streaming or for downloading large files. These activities can be a major drain on bandwidth. Configuring a WiFi filter to prevent or restrict these activities ensures the maximum number of customers can benefit from instore WiFi.
If customers automatically connect to instore WiFi when entering a store, retailers can gain a valuable insight into customer behavior. Retailers can track the websites that visitors access instore. Those data can be used to direct future marketing efforts or identify the best sites to place web advertisements. If customers are not making purchases, it may be possible to use WiFi filtering logs to gain an insight into why that may be the case.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is a cost-effective way to implement WiFi filtering for stores. Being 100% cloud-based, there is no need to purchase any hardware nor any need to download software onto your server. Customers can also be provided with filtered Internet access without the need for any apps. In contrast to hardware-based appliances, there are no limits on the number of individuals who can connect to filtered WiFi networks protected by WebTitan Cloud for WiFi.
Retailers can easily apply acceptable usage policies and block websites by category or keyword. Blacklists can also be created to block specific websites such as competitor sites. Implementing, configuring, and maintaining WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is a quick and simple process. Reports on usage can also be scheduled to gain an insight into customer – and employee – behavior.
Bandwidth-heavy activities can be blocked or restricted, different controls can be set for customers and employees, and being DNS-based, there is no impact on Internet speed.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi can be trialed free of charge. This allows retailers to discover the benefits of web filtering – and the unique benefits of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi – before committing to a purchase.
WebTitan can be quickly and easily installed and configured to suit each retailers’ individual needs. Full assistance will be provided to help retailers implement and configure the web filter. Full technical and customer support will also be provided for the duration of the trial. At the end of the trial there is no obligation to proceed with a purchase.
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