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Wifi Security – How to minimise the risks

Do you worry about being hacked or having your private information compromised? WIFI security issues are one of the most common worries amongst internet users. There are many horror stories in the media, which are growing due to the popularity of smart devices.

Just because these things are happening, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having WIFI and smart devices in your home or business. It just means that you also have to be smart with your security. Let’s take a look at some easy ways to minimise risks.

Security tips for WIFI

First of all, we will take a look at ways you can secure your WIFI. This is something you can do before adjusting the settings on your smart devices. So, let’s get started.

secure password Use a strong network password

Of course, the most obvious security tip is to have a strong password on your WIFI. This is going to stop any unwelcomed guests using your internet or compromising your security. You would be surprised how many people do not have passwords.

In addition, a lot of WIFI networks will have a default password. Have you ever changed this? Not a lot of people do. But if you want to be extra safe, it is recommended that you change all of your default passwords. Ensure your password is strong by using a variety of numbers, letters and symbols. Of course, it should be something that no one will easily guess or is common knowledge about you. You may also want to change the network names if you are worried. You can use a password generator website to create something super secure.

Update the Software Keep software up to date

We are all guilty of ignoring updates when we are busy on the computer. But it is best to always install the updates when they are available. In particular, WIFI providers may send you updates that boost the security of your computer and other devices. It is essential that you install this so that you can enjoy the latest updates to remain secure. Hacking and viruses are getting more sophisticated all the time. It is necessary to stay up to date when your provider is offering new software.

guest wifi Have a guest WIFI network

If you run a business, it is not always advisable to have a public WIFI network. Of course, this depends on the type of business you have. An office may only need internal wifi, but in hospitality providing your customers with a connection is a good way to attract people into your store, café or restaurant.

If you are not careful, it can cause real security problems. A public WIFI network without a password for example, can be easy for hackers to access your data, as well as your customer’s data. Keep internal and guest connections separate. This is going to make sure that you are not open to threats and you are still offering a connection for your customers. They will not be able to access your other devices, such as smart devices and printers within your business. You can also enjoy peace of mind and know you have done everything.

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Change Provider

If you have already experienced security problems with your internet provider, it may be time to switch. This can be the best way to avoid security issues happening again. For example, at Wave Internet, we can provide you with super-fast and affordable broadband in your home or business. You can stay connected, as well as secure, allowing you to browse with confidence. You don’t need a phone line and there is unlimited data usage. We also have a local telephone number in case you have any problems. This is a great solution for customers living in rural areas and needing reliable coverage.

smart devices Security tips for smart devices

Do you have smart devices in your home? By smart devices, we mean Amazon Alexa devices, such as the Echo and Echo Dot, Ring doorbells, Hive lighting and heating and Google Home. All of these devices need an internet connection to operate. Once you’ve secured your WIFI, there are some things you can do with these devices too to be extra safe.

1. Erase Alexa voice recordings

You may not realise it but Amazon Alexa devices keep a log of all the voice recordings you have made. Think about it like your web history but on your smart device. If you are not comfortable with the smart device storing all of your commands, you can easily erase them in the history settings. It is advisable to make a habit of doing this every one to two days. This way, you can keep on top of things and make sure there are no voice recordings left on your smart device.

2. Turn off cameras and microphones

Are you guilty of leaving on a lot of devices when you do not have to? Perhaps it is time to consider switching off your smart devices when you are not going to be using them. There are a lot of bad stories in the media about hackers, which can be quite scary. Limiting the amount of devices you have on in your home could minimise threats.

In addition, there are now smart devices that enable you to manually switch off the microphone when you are not using it. Simply use this button when you are now using your smart device and this can stop it listening to your conversations and recording with you realising.

3. Choose a unique wake word

Do you know what a wake word is? This is simply the phrase you use to wake up your smart device and begin giving it demands. In other words, this is when it starts to record your voice. To avoid the possibility of interference, as well as recording conversations you do not want it to do, you can change the wake word. Try to choose a unique word that would be hard for someone to guess and that does not pop into everyday conversation. This way, the device will only record when you want it to.

4. Use a pin for voice purchases

Of course, one of the great things about Alexa devices is that they enable you to make quick and easy purchases. All you have to do is say your command and your items will be ordered. But this also makes it simple for children or somebody else to make purchases on your account. The best way you can secure your device is by setting up a pin code for voice purchases. This can be easily done in settings on your Alexa account. Make sure it is a pin that nobody is going to guess.

5. Adjust privacy settings

Without you realising, a lot of smart devices are using your information in one way or another. Make sure that you read the privacy policies and terms of use so that you are familiar with the data that is used. If you are not comfortable with some of them, do not use them. But there are ways you can adjust the privacy settings. For example, in the Alexa app, you can view and adjust your privacy settings. You can manage what information is going to be sent away to Amazon. You can also review the permissions on your phone so that smart device are not using your microphone, camera or other information without you knowing.

 

Want to discuss your internet security?

Get in touch with our team by calling 01254 377373 or email us at info@waveinternet.co.uk.

5 simple ways to improve your internal WIFI

Are you looking for ways to improve your internal WIFI? In today’s world, we struggle to function without a good internet connection. The revolution of the online world means we rely on technology more than ever, and this only works if you can connect at a decent speed. WIFI with slow speeds and bad reception can affect the playback of videos, surfing the web and scrolling through social media – 2020 essentials!

With the current situation of Covid-19, we are all in our homes and reliant on services such as Netflix, Youtube and other online services to keep our mental health in order, and tackle our boredom. Kids also require access to the internet to do their schoolwork online, and with most people now working from home, there is heavy usage on your broadband!

If you are finding things are running a bit slower than usual, there are things you can do to improve it, here goes…

WIFI Mesh system Install a WIFI mesh system

Do you notice that some areas of your home experience slow speeds while other places do not? This can be annoying and affect your browsing experience and productivity. The good news is that there is something you can do about it. You can install a WIFI mesh system on your property. This is going to be better than WIFI extenders and make sure that you do not have any dead spots.

Essentially, a WIFI mesh system means having more than one router device in the building. They are going to work together to bring better WIFI to your devices.  Together the nodes should bring a seamless WIFI connection to all areas of your home or business. For example, at Wave Internet, we have modern and sleekly designed nodes that you can place in different rooms. You will hardly notice they are there but you can enjoy better WIFI instantly after install.

disconnect unused devices Disconnect devices not in use

The chances are, you have a lot of devices that are connected right now. This can be anything from smartphones and computers to speakers, televisions, printers and wireless accessories. We are all guilty of keeping them connected to the WIFI for convenience and so they are ready to use when we need them. But the truth is, keeping all of these devices connected is overloading the usage and slowing it down. Think about it like every device is like a person using the internet at the same time as you. It can affect speed.

The best thing you can do is disconnect the devices that you are not currently using at home. It will not take long to connect them again when you want to use them. You should notice a difference in your WIFI experience. If you cannot disconnect a lot of these devices, you may want to consider switching to wired alternative hardware. For example, you can easily invest in a wired mouse or keyboard, which should not cost a lot of money. This way, you can still have them connected but they will not interfere with your WIFI.

Updste Software Keep software up to date

The reason your WIFI might be running slowly could be down to needing an update. So, perhaps it is time to see if there are any software updates. Companies like here at Wave are always trying to improve things, so there are often upgrades available, just get in touch and discuss with a member of the team. Even if your WIFI is not playing up, it is best to check for updates regularly, as this could improve your online security too.

Secure Password Create a secure password

Is your WIFI protected by a secure password? If the answer is no, now is the time to get one. Whether you are experiencing slow speeds at home or in your business, having an open or public WIFI may be contributing to this. Not only does this affect your surfing experience but it can also leave you open to security threats. It is always recommended to encrypt your service and have a password. This is going to stop everybody using your broadband, as well as make hacking less likely to happen.

Do not forget that having a strong password is essential. This should be something that is not easy to guess. It is recommended to use a combination of symbols, numbers and letters – you can use a password generator. Try to avoid common letter or number patterns, such as 1234. Make sure it is not personal information and it should be at least eight characters long.

upgrade hardware Switch to the latest hardware

Technology is always changing. If you have not invested in your WIFI, now may be the time to do it. As the need for connectivity increases every year, this means that there is newer technology out there for you. For example, Wireless-B, Wireless-A and Wireless-G are older and have lower speeds than more modern versions. Sometimes, it is necessary to upgrade and even spend a little bit more to get the experience that you want. In particular, if you stream a lot of videos and games, this may be essential for you to enjoy them.

switching broadband provider Things that are contributing to lousy WIFI

So, we have looked at some simple things you can improve your internal WIFI. But there are actually things that are already in your home too. There are a number of items that are common in households and businesses that affect WIFI speed. Let’s take a look.

Metal furniture

Do you have a lot of metal tables or other furniture around your home? This could be affecting your WIFI speeds. This is because metal is a conductor. In other words, it is a material that can absorb electricity and prevent the release of electromagnetic waves for your WIFI. The best thing you can do is minimise metal furniture in your home or business or keep it away from your router.

Refrigerators and washing machines

There are many appliances around your home or your business that can interfere with the WIFI. Two of them are refrigerators and washing machines. A lot of people do not realise this, but radio waves from big appliances like these can affect your signal and internet speeds. The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to move your router away from big appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.

Kettles and microwaves

It is not just the big appliances that could be affecting your WIFI signal. In fact, smaller kitchen appliances, such as kettles and microwaves can interfere too. They have a similar frequency that is used by WIFI and this can mean that it interrupts your speeds. The best thing you can do is have your router far away from these small appliances. This can hopefully stop the interruption from happening.

Automatic downloads

If you have devices connected to your WIFI, they may be set to automatic downloads. This means that any updates are installed automatically when they become available. Often, this is a setting that people use for convenience. But this could be interfering with your WIFI speeds. So, take a look at your devices and see if this is happening. Change the settings so that it alerts you when an update is ready and you can choose to download it when you need to.

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Switching is easy

Why should I switch to Wave Internet?
Unlike the big corporates, we have the flexibility to quickly adapt to changing needs of our local customers. Our new technology allows us to beam high speed internet from our stations all around Lancashire and Greater Manchester. They want you to think that they all use the same technology and there are no other options, but we are here to change perceptions and provide excellent, rapid customer service at the same time.

The email scandal: broadband companies

How some broadband companies make switching hard work by using your email address against you

The chances are, when you signed up with a broadband provider many years ago, they gave you a free email address. Of course, this was great at the time. You created your account and since then, you have signed up to other services, made purchases and receive all important correspondence to this email address. Everything is in one handy place and there when you need it. 

But if you are thinking about switching broadband providers, you should be aware that you might not be able to take your email address with you. A lot of people do not realise that their broadband service is not just featured in their email address name; you actually have to stay with the broadband company in order to access it.

The reality is, some broadband companies are using your email address against you. Let’s take a closer look at how and what you can do about it.

switching broadband provider

The reality when you are switching broadband provider

So, let’s take a common scenario.

You want to change broadband companies due to no longer being happy with your current provider.

You have found a cheaper, better deal somewhere else to save money and suit your internet use.

You organise the cancellation and end your contract.

Then...they drop the bombshell that your email address you have used for years, will no longer be in use!

These companies know that everyone wants to keep their email address, so take the opportunity to make extra income, or to retain the customer because the hassle of changing their email is just too much. Examples of the options they give to customers are:

Your Email account is deleted forever

First of all, some broadband companies will simply delete your email account when you end your contract. You will no longer be able to access any of your emails, and will lose all of your correspondence and contacts. There is no way of regaining any of this information, forcing customers to accept the reality that they have to start all over again.

You pay a monthly fee

The other option you have is to pay a monthly fee in order to keep your email address and still use all of the features you currently use for free. While you may think that this is a small price to pay to maintain all of your data, it is not a great long-term plan. The company in the future could decide they no longer offer the stand-alone service, and you are back to square one.

This is a service that you enjoyed as part of your broadband package. Now, you have to pay your new broadband company and your old one to access your emails. Is this something you really want to do? 

Gsuite Google Emails

Bite the bullet – Sign up for a web-based email service

If you are still wanting to switch broadband provider and are scared about losing your emails and contacts, we have some useful advice. One of the best things you can do is sign up for a web-based email service. This is going to prevent this problem from happening. For example, you can choose to sign up for GSuite or Outlook. They are not linked to any provider and they are also cost-effective.

A personal account with Gmail is free to use, or a business account is as low as £4 per month with all the extra services. You get all of the features that you need to conduct business or personal emails, as well as their being good storage space.

We have created some simple steps so that you can transfer everything from your old emails onto your new web-based email account. Make sure you follow these steps in advance of your email account is closed.

Step 1: Sign up and create your email account

First, sign up for your chosen web-based email service. Create your account and fill in all of your details. This should not take long and the online forms are normally easy to follow and guide you through the process.

Step 2: Forward important emails

On your old broadband email account, find any important emails you have. The best way to transfer them to your new email account on the web is to forward them to your new address. This way, you will be able to view everything and put them into folders in any way that you like.

Step 3: Transfer your contacts list

One of the most important things is going to be your contact list. There are ways to download or export your list so that you can transfer it to your new account. Different email accounts will do this in various ways. Search for instructions on how to do this or contact your broadband provider.

Step 4: Check your website subscriptions

Have a look at your emails. Gather a list of the subscriptions that you have and accounts that you want to change to your new email address. For example, this may be social media websites, online banking and shopping accounts. Log into those websites and change your email address. This will make sure that any correspondence now goes to your new account.

Step 5: Set email forwarding

While you transition over to your new email account, set up email forwarding on your old one. This will make sure that all your messages get forwarded and you receive them. You can even set up automatic replies to emails you receive on your old account. This can inform anyone where they can contact you moving forward.

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Make your switch easy – Choose Wave

This may seem daunting, but there is help on hand to switch providers, even if you are stuck with issues regarding your old email address. We will guide you through how to retain your information.

Here at Wave Internet, we side with Ofcom when it comes to email address usage. We strongly believe customers should always have an informed choice.

That is why we never use your email address against you. At no point will you have to pay money to access emails or stay beyond your contract.  We keep everything transparent and we are focused on offers you reliable, local and fast internet. We do not charge extra fees for going over allowances nor do we include unnecessary landline charges.

The great thing is that we offer flexible contracts too. There are a lot of other providers out there that try to tie you down for a long time. We simply do not do this. You can choose a package that suits you best. 

So, do not let broadband companies take advantage of you. Make sure that you research what happens with your email address and look to sign up to a free web-based email service. In addition, contact our team to find out more about Wave Internet. We offer next-general internet technology without any cables. And we offer you all this for an amazing, affordable price. What are you waiting for? Talk with us today.

5 ways free customer WiFi can boost your business

Many customer-facing establishments such as restaurants now offer WiFi free of charge for visitors. Are you considering this is an extra service you should provide? No matter what business you run, free WiFi can be a fantastic way to encourage customers through your door. Think about it; everybody is online these days, and few can leave home without spending time online. So, offering a secure WiFi option can ensure they have a great experience when they visit you.

Let’s take a look at five ways providing free customer WiFi can be beneficial for your business.

beat competition

1. Beat Your Competition

In every industry, you’ve got competition. There’s always going to be another company that is trying to attract your customers. This means you’ve got to do something that gives you a competitive edge, something different. Offering free WiFi when customers come to your establishment can be a way to attract more custom.

Customers do a lot of research nowadays. They look into what a company can offer them, and what benefits they can enjoy. Buying decisions are not always based on prices or products alone. People could choose an establishment just because it offers them a chance to get online for free. For some, it can be a deal-breaker.

One thing you should bear in mind is that customers don’t like slow or disconnecting WiFi. If you choose a provider that’s not right for your area and that has a weak connection, this is going to annoy your customers. It’ll do the opposite of what you intended; it could drive customers away. 

As a business owner, you need to make sure that you offer a reliable and secure network for your visitors. For example, if your company is based in a rural area, it can be difficult for you to find a provider that offers fast, responsive internet. At Wave Internet, we offer fast, reliable broadband to rural areas. Chances are not a lot of your competitors will offer free WiFi. So, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to capitalise on.

customers stay longer wifi

2. Make Customers Stay Longer

If you run a business such as a café, you want your customers to stay for a long time and enjoy your food and beverages. This means they are more likely to buy more products from you if they stay for two hours compared to 30 minutes. So, how can you convince your customers to extend their stay? Try offering free WiFi. This type of complementary service is a way to keep them busy and in your venue for longer. Ultimately, if they stay longer, they will spend more money. 

If customers take up valuable tables or sitting areas could affect you, or them not buying anything at all; you can always use some tricks to make sure this doesn’t happen. For example, you can set a time limit on your WiFi, or limit the amount of power outlets that are available for customers to use. In addition, you can lay out that a purchase has to be made before gaining access to free WiFi.

free wifi

3. Collect Customer Information

You can make it a win for both your customers and your business. In order to use WiFi, ask your customers to enter their details and make an account. It’s simple. You can have a quick online form for customers to fill out before they gain access to the internet. This is a way for you to gather their information, such as their name and email address. You can also ask them to consent to information being sent to them about new products and services.

This customer information can then be used for marketing purposes later on. You can send promotions and upcoming events to them, which can entice them back. Just make sure that you have a secure database if you’re going to collect customer information. With personal emails, you can encourage repeat business.

hotel wifi

4. Enjoy Free Marketing

Have you ever used WiFi in a hotel? When you try to connect, a home page pops up advertising the hotel and its services. You could do something similar for your business. It’s a good way to remind customers who’s providing the free luxury and any offers you may have running at the time. It might be enough to catch their eye and for them to make an extra purchase. 

Customers that use your WiFi are more likely to market your products through social media too. They’ll connect and share photos on platforms like Facebook and Instagram & Twitter, as well as share their thoughts. Even ‘checking in’ at your establishment is a way to spread the word about your business. All of this is for free, with customers sharing with their friends and family & business contacts. You can even create a unique hashtag for your business so that everybody can get involved and have some fun. Plus, you can gain feedback on your brand at the same time. 

We all know how powerful social media can be for driving more customers to your business. One of the most important things is to make sure that you have a strong internet connection allowing customers to access social media. Otherwise, this can be frustrating for them and your business.

marketing

5. Advertise Offers and Promotions

If customers are busy on their mobiles and using your free WiFi, you may think; aren’t they going to miss the products and services that are on offer in my establishment? Well, the way to tackle this is to advertise offers and promotions through the connection screen. You can create a homepage that they land on as soon as they are connected. This can showcase the current sales and promotions you’re offering. 

In addition, you can even offer discounts and special giveaways using your internet connection. This is another way to engage with customers and encourage them to spend money in your establishment. This is like a reward for your customers.

Do you want to introduce free WiFi to your business? As you can see, there are many advantages that you can enjoy when you offer this perk. Customers are also more likely to spend more in your establishment. Plus, it’s a way to collect customer information and market to them later on. This is all with little effort. It’s definitely an investment that can see a return.

At Wave Internet, we offer business packages that can get your company online. We offer high-speed internet and wireless fibre so that you can offer WiFi to your customers, no matter where you are. Even if your business is based in a rural area, you can be one of the few establishments to offer reliable internet to your customers. Contact us today to find out more.

How going cashless can benefit your business

Technology is taking over and it’s transforming everything in our lives. This includes the way that we pay. Practically everyone has at least one debit or credit card now, and the popularity of mobile payments such as Google & Apple pay has been a game-changer. Card payments used to slow things down, but with contactless, the process is super easy and efficient.

Many people often don’t carry cash, and companies are evolving. Train stations now let you use your card instead of tickets, you now tap your card on buses instead of paying the driver, and even window cleaners have started taking a direct debit rather than cash in hand. Have you thought about adjusting how your business deals with transactions?

A lot of companies are moving away from dealing with money and over to a cashless payment system. This includes having a card machine, offering contactless and allowing mobile payments. But what are the benefits to a cashless payment system? We’re going to point out some of the main advantages you can expect when you modernise your business. 

easy card payments

Make your business attractive to a busy lifestyle

People don’t want to carry cash with them everywhere they go now. They’d rather quickly pay with their debit or credit card so they can be on their way. In addition, more people want to use contactless too. A quick tap and you’re ready to go. 

If your business doesn’t provide these facilities for card users, they’ll simply go somewhere else. In particular, if you have a rural business and there aren’t any ATMs nearby, you’re going to lose customers because they aren’t carrying cash; make the jump to a cashless establishment! This is going to cater to almost everybody. It shows that you’re moving with the times and investing in your business too.

A study by Visa found that customers actually spend more money when they use a card to pay. For example, people spent on average 40% more at a family restaurant. Thus, having a cashless payment system could actually encourage your customers to spend more on your products or services.

card payments market stall

Create a more efficient process

Let’s be honest; nobody wants to stand waiting to pay longer than they have to. Everybody’s busy and they want to be in and out with their order – not waiting around in long lines. If they do have this negative experience, they’re more likely to visit a different place next time.

When customers are paying with cash, it can take longer to serve them. have you noticed that most people wait until the last minute to get the payment ready when paying cash, with card payments they tend to have it ready in their hand! Not only can it take customers longer to dig around in their wallets for the right change at the last moment, but it can also take employers longer to count the cash and coins they receive. Taking away the cash element can help to speed up waiting times, so no long lines with a grab and go system. lot’s of bars and clubs have already made the switch and claim it is making a huge difference to their business.

An insight report into consumer payments found that processing a contactless transaction only takes one to two seconds, compared to at least seven seconds for cash. You may think this isn’t a big difference, but if you’ve got a line full of people, this time will soon add up – the person at the back of the line will definitely notice the delay!

faster cashless payment

Less Stress for Employees

It doesn’t matter how much training an employee has had on the register, it can still be stressful handling a line full of customers. In particular, if they’re feeling under pressure or not very good at maths, counting out lots of coins and notes can be difficult.

Of course, you want to support your employees in any way that you can – and moving to a cashless payment system is going to improve stress levels at busy periods. 

mobile phone payment

Accommodate mobile payment users

Nobody can leave the house without their mobile phones these days, and people are far more likely to accidentally leave their wallet at home than their trusty devices. This will continue to be the case as mobile payment methods are growing in popularity. More and more customers are choosing options like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay to make purchases, and it’s important that your business embraces this new technology.

By providing the facilities to make these payments possible, you can accommodate your business to everybody. This trend is going to continue to grow, so making the investment now will be worthwhile. 

easier accounting with card payments

Easier accounting

In some industries such as restaurants and bars, balances don’t always add up at the end of a shift due to what is often human error from mishandling change. It’s easy for an employee to make a simple mistake if they aren’t paying attention or are at the end of a long shift. By cutting out the cash element, this is much more unlikely, and everything is logged.

When you take digital payments from cards and mobiles, all transactions will be tracked and have a record. It’s all visible to look back on and can feed into accounting software to reduce the manual inputting of data.

Reduce the risk of theft

When you keep cash in your registers overnight, it can make your business a target for thieves. Nobody wants to have their establishment broken into their hard-earned money stolen. While you may think that this will never happen to you, there’s still a risk that it could.

One way to minimise the chances of this happening is by removing the cash entirely and going cashless! Thieves will be deterred from breaking into your business, and you can enjoy peace of mind.

In addition, removing cash from your business can avoid the risk of receiving counterfeit banknotes. Since you no longer deal with cash, all payments will come with card and security is high with electronic payment systems.

good broadband connection

Think about your internet connection!

Going cashless is great, but you are then relying on a continuous reliable broadband connection for your business. You may think this option isn’t available if you are based in a rural area, but switching from traditional broadband providers to a wireless solution gives you a strong and secure internet connection when you need it most.

 We offer affordable packages that can be cost-effective for your business including cheaper calls with our VOIP phone systems.