Unexpected benefits of guest WiFi

More and more businesses are offering free WiFi to their customers. This is a great way to enhance the service you provide to your customers, no matter whether you run a café, a hair salon, or a clothing store. However, the benefits extend a lot further than this, which is something not everyone realises. With that being said, read on to discover more about the unexpected benefits of guest WiFi.

  • Get to know your customers better – Many business owners do not realise that free WiFi is a great way to get to know your customers. Whenever someone connects to your WiFi network, data will instantly be sent to your central interface. This is extremely useful. After all, the only way to ensure your marketing plan is successful is to get a better understanding of your client base.
  • Make money there and then – Customer WiFi encourages people to spend more. There are numerous ways this is achieved. Firstly, when it comes to the likes of cafes and restaurants, customers are likely to stay at your business longer while using the WiFi, and this will result in them buying more drinks and food, and thus spending more. You can also send targeted marketing messages to those in your store, encouraging them to buy something. For example, you could provide a voucher code or reveal details of a special discount code you have running.
  • Ensure repeat business – Another benefit of guest WiFi is the ability to secure repeat business. You can send discounts for future visits, or you can offer customers a special discount if they refer a friend or family member to your business.
  • Differentiate your company – Offering guest WiFi is a great way to make your business stand out from the competition. Nowadays, more and more people look for free WiFi access when they are determining where to grab a bite to eat or where to go shopping.
  • Take advantage of new advertising channels – Guest WiFi opens you up to a wealth of different opportunities. Friendly WiFi is a prime example. If you become a Friendly WiFi provider, you will feature on a search base for parents and young adults that are seeking family-friendly WiFi. Not only does this shed your business in a good light, but it gives you another marketing medium as well.
  • Customised landing pages – Finally, another benefit associated with guest WiFi is the ability to have a customised login page. This is the page that all of your customers will see whenever they go to sign into your WiFi network. You can incorporate your logo on this page and any other marketing messages you believe will have an impact.

When you take the six points that have been mentioned above into consideration, it is not tough to understand why so many businesses are turning to guest WiFi to boost their popularity and profits.

Hotel Industry Needs To Step & Protect Their PoS Systems

Over the past few years, the attacks on point of sale (PoS) systems at hotels across the world have highlighted the need for hospitality businesses to act in order to protect the future of their company. A lot of experts have expressed that they believe security standards and central support need to be implemented for franchisees in the hotel sector. However, if you are reading this, you should not wait for someone to show you the way regarding cyber security, no matter what industry you operate in. There is no time to wait.

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One of the most recent attacks involved the HEI Hotels and Resorts Group, with twenty hotels being hit by malware that targeted their PoS systems. The group is not the first one to report PoS malware card data breaches, and the way that things are going they won’t be the last. HEI Hotels and Resorts Group includes popular hotels such as Sheraton, Le Meridien, and the Marriott. Of course, the financial damage of such a breach is extortionate, but the fall-out is often a lot worse than most business owners consider.

Firstly, you will have to ensure you take all of the steps to stop the problem from getting worse, which can mean being out of business for a while. You also need to alert your customers, and you need to get to the bottom of the security vulnerability so that you can rectify it. This can be a lot more difficult than anticipated, and a lot of security breaches go unnoticed for months on end. You will then face fraud losses, and you will need to payout compensation to those that have been affected. And, what about non-compliance fines? All businesses that take card payments need to comply with the PCI DSS security standards. As you have failed to do this, you can expect extortionate fines passed on from your bank. Moreover, your interest rates are likely to go up as a result – that is if the bank will continue to do business with you.

All of this is without even considering the damage that a data breach can do to your reputation. When businesses book a stay at a hotel, they expect a relaxing time where they can let their troubles drift away. They don’t expect to be the victim of credit fraud, or at least to worry that they could be. You have a responsibility to protect your customers’ card data, and when you fail, trust is broken. This is something that is notoriously difficult to rectify, especially in an industry where there are so many businesses you are competing against, and so many other hotels that customers could go for instead.

Don’t be the next hotel to suffer a data breach. Make sure your business is protected. If you don’t know where to start, don’t fret, as Retail Secure can assist. All you need to do is give us a call to get started. You can be sure that our solution is one of the best in the industry, and it is affordable too.

Is your email address for sale on the dark web?

Recent news has come to light that there could have been a significant data breach at Yahoo. A hacker has claimed that they have 200 million Yahoo accounts for sale, after listing them on the dark web market. These accounts are being sold for three Bitcoins, which relates to roughly £1,350 per entry. The data reveals the username, password, and birth date of the account holder. A test of a sample set has been conducted and it proves that the usernames do correspond to real accounts. Yahoo has yet to confirm or deny that a breach has taken place.

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The cyber criminal, who has the moniker ‘Peace’, has also stolen email addresses and passwords from LinkedIn and MySpace in the past. Users need to purchase a key in order to unscramble the passwords. Yahoo has revealed that they are working to go to the bottom of the issue. The company, which was only sold to Verizon last week, is attempting to firstly determine if the details are in fact correct, and then if they were obtained during a hack.

Information surfacing indicates that the data was stolen back in 2012. This may seem alarming to many that a potential data breach could go unnoticed for roughly four years. However, it is not uncommon for data breaches to be undetected for a long time. A lot of businesses right now will have been the victim of a cyber attack and they won’t even realise it.

The attack is also similar to a lot of breaches that we have heard about lately. Only a few months ago, the credentials of 360 million MySpace accounts were put up for sale on the dark web. We have also experienced the sale of 65 million Tumblr emails and 117 million LinkedIn account details. So, what do you do if your email account has been hacked?

Firstly, you should change your password. This is something all Yahoo email users are advised to do as soon as possible. In fact, changing your password every three months is advised in any case. Choose a strong password that incorporates capital letters, lower case letters, symbols, and numbers, and make sure you don’t include any full words. If it is too late, and the hacker has already changed your account, you need to follow the ‘forgot your password’ link, and if that is unsuccessful, get in touch with the email account provider.

When possible, implement two-factor authentication, which involves adding another security layer aside from entering a password. For example, you may receive a new code via your phone whenever you want to login to your email account. This reduces the chance of someone gaining access. Yahoo, Hotmail, Microsoft, and Gmail offer two-factor authentication.

Last but not least, check your email settings. If your account has been breached, the hacker may have changed the settings so that every email you send or receive is forwarded to them. This allows them to look for your login details for other websites, which can lead to more serious issues.

Free WiFi in the Food Industry: Why Restaurants and Takeaways Need to Invest

If you run a takeaway or restaurant, you cannot overlook the opportunity of investing in guest WiFi. Gone are the days when consumers considered free WiFi access a luxury; they now expect it, and by catering to their demand you can reap greater rewards than you probably realise.

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Did you know that 61 per cent of people look for a WiFi hotspot when choosing a place to eat and drink? This is according to BT research. The study also concluded that 20 per cent said they would buy more in the food outlet if WiFi was provided, 27 per cent stated they would visit more regularly, and 36 per cent said they would visit the place again.

As you can see, the demand for guest WiFi is certainly there, and thus you are guaranteed to attract more people to your takeaway or restaurant by offering free WiFi access. You also improve the service you provide to your current customers, encouraging them to stay longer and, therefore, spend more on food and drink.

However, this merely scratches the surface when it comes to offering free WiFi. The marketing opportunities you have at your disposal are massive. Guest WiFi gives you the ability to collect useful data about all connected customers. With the Retail Secure solution, you will immediately receive insights about a consumer whenever they connect to your WiFi network. This allows you to get to know your customers better, which means you can send targeted marketing messages that have a much higher impact.

Almost three in every ten people access WiFi at food establishments because they want to look for discount codes or vouchers. You can take advantage of this. Why not send your customers a 10 per cent discount code for their next visit to your takeaway? This encourages repeat business. Or, you could send a buy one get one free offer on drinks to those in your restaurant? This encourages your customers to spend more then and there. The possibilities are endless; you could also send details about new food on the menu, any events coming up, and so on.

With our solution, you will also benefit from a customised landing page. This is the page your customers will see when they go to log in to your WiFi network. It is like your digital shop window. We will incorporate your logo and any other marketing message you wish to include. Customers can also log in via their social media accounts, encouraging more likes and followers, and once they have entered their details they won’t need to do so next time they visit, enhancing the service you provide them.

One thing you do need to be wary of when providing free WiFi is security. There are many companies providing WiFi services with little regard for this, as well as restaurants and takeaways that simply place their WiFi code in view for their customers to access their network in this way. This is not advised, and can cause huge problems, including large fines.

With more than 25 years of experience in security and communications, this is something you do not need to worry about with our solution. It is 100 per cent legally compliant with all applicable legislation, including the Digital Economy Act and the Data Protection Acts. Our content filtering feature also gives you the ability to block inappropriate material. And, as a Friendly WiFi provider, we offer family-friendly WiFi, meaning we prohibit all websites on the Internet Watch Foundation’s block list.

All of our customers have the option to display the official Friendly WiFi logo at their venue, showcasing that they are a safe and responsible provide. Plus, your takeaway or restaurant can feature on the Friendly WiFi database, whereby parents and young children look for Friendly WiFi approved venues. This is another marketing platform for you to take advantage of.

If you would like to discover more about our service, and how it can benefit your restaurant or takeaway specifically, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Browse our website, or give us a call on 0333 320 8848.

Huge data breach at Wendy’s fast food chain

Another day, another data breach, and this time it is a big one! US fast food chain, Wendy’s, has revealed that they have suffered a breach that has impacted more than 1,000 of their food establishments. Customers’ credit card and debit card information has been compromised, and it is believed that the attack occurred due to malware being installed on the point-of-sale systems.

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The news of a data breach at Wendy’s is not too surprising, as the company admitted several months ago in February that they were looking into a possible breach. Over the months, the extent of this breach has slowly been revealed. In May, Wendy’s confirmed that they located malware on their PoS systems. They then gave an update stating that details were stolen from fewer than 300 locations. These details include debit and credit card numbers, service codes, cardholder verification values, and expiration dates. However, if that was not bad enough, the fast food chain has just revealed that actually more than 1,000 venues were impacted.

Wendy’s have reassured customers that all of the locations are now free of malware. Nevertheless, this is unlikely to put customers at ease, as they worry whether they will be victims of fraud. The company explained that it is probable that the cyber attack came from the remote access credentials of the franchisees being compromised. This meant that the cyber criminals were able to install malware, which then swiped details whenever someone paid via their debit or credit card. Of course, considering the number of updates that there have been already, there could well be some more information on the way.

This incident should be a warning sign to all businesses, as it shows how easily point of sale systems can be compromised. If you don’t have efficient cyber security in position at present, it is likely that access to your PoS systems is available via all avenues, from extranet to email to social media. This means that it is easy for hackers to find a way in. Wendy’s should have taken the necessary steps to limit this access.

To do this, LAN segregation is a must. At Retail Secure, we achieve this by creating a separate Cardholder Data Environment (CDE) whereby access is restricted. This makes it extremely difficult for cyber criminals to find a way in and compromise your payment systems. It also means you comply with PCI DSS, which is a standard that is applicable to all UK businesses that take any payments via debit or credit card. If you are not compliant, you could face huge fines, and the reputational damage is something that is difficult to come back from.

Now, Wendy’s face the challenging process of rebuilding the trust that has been broken. You only have to look at the decline in TalkTalk’s profits to see how difficult this is. Don’t put your business in this position to begin with!

The benefits of offering free WiFi at your café

If your business is yet to offer free WiFi, irrespective of whether you run a small independent café or you run a national chain of coffee shops, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. With that being said, read on to discover more about the benefits of offering free WiFi at your café.

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  • Attract more customers to your café – There is only one place to begin, and this is with the fact that you are guaranteed to attract more people to your café. Research indicates that free WiFi provision is one of the main things customers look for when looking for somewhere to eat or drink. This is especially true when it comes to coffee shops, as a lot of people like to bring their laptop and connect to the Internet so that they can check their work emails or finish a university assignment. All in all, this is a great way to make your business stand out from the competition.
  • Encourage customers to spend more – By offering free WiFi at your café, you are encouraging customers to stay at your venue longer, which will result in them spending more. This can result in a significant increase in profits over time. After all, if a customer comes to your coffee shop to use your WiFi, they are going to order an extra coffee than they usually would, and perhaps they will even have a bite to eat.
  • Target marketing more effectively – One of the key benefits associated with guest WiFi is the ability to gain real-time data about all of your connected customers. You can then use this information to send targeted marketing messages to those in your café. This could be a discount off their next drink, or you could advertise new items on your menu, for example. By having such data handy, you will be able to increase the likelihood of your advertising messages being a success, as you will have tailored them to the customer in question.
  • Brand your café with a customised landing page – Your landing page is like your digital shop window. This is what your customers will first see whenever they go to connect to your network. Therefore, you can use this page to brand your company to full effect. Why not include your logo and any other compelling marketing messages? Maybe you could advertise any special deals you have running?
  • Get your customers to advertise for you – You can encourage your customers to ‘check-in’ at your venue on Facebook or to share pictures of their coffee on Instagram. By doing this, your customers are going to be effectively advertising for you.
  • Increase customer loyalty – Last but not least, not only will you attract new customers to your café, but also you will increase loyalty amongst your current customers. This is because you are enhancing your service to them, not only by giving them free WiFi access but also by sending voucher codes and other special offers.

Data security for chiropractic clinics

The healthcare industry as a whole is under severe threat when it comes to data security. As medical records are more valuable to cyber criminals than card data is, as it fetches them more on the black market. Consequently, we have seen a huge number of data breaches in this industry over the past few years. In fact, in 2015, there were more than 112 million records exposed in the healthcare sector. However, a lot of chiropractic clinics in the UK are still underestimating this threat and in the process they are putting their business at risk.

If you are like most businesses, you will no doubt have adopted technology in some form over the past few years. As technology has been integrated into the healthcare sector, the risks have increased, as cyber criminals have a route in. If you do not protect your customer and employee data effectively, it is only a matter of time before it is exposed.

This is not something that only impacts large businesses, contrary to popular belief. A PWC study revealed that 74 per cent of small businesses were breached in 2015. The reason why cyber criminals often target SMEs is because they recognise that they do not have the money to invest in expensive cyber security systems and security personnel. Thus, they see it as a quick and easy way to make money. In fact, this is something that rings true for the healthcare industry as a whole, as a lot of chiropractic clinics are using outdated software, which is another thing that makes it easy for hackers to expose data.

Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is PCI compliance. If you take payment via credit or debit card, no matter how frequently or infrequently or what cards you accept, you need to comply with PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This is a set of regulations that all businesses need to follow if they store, process, or transmit card data.

The requirements range from installing and maintaining a firewall configuration to using two-factor authentication. If you do not follow the regulations that are in place, you can find yourself facing huge fines. These fines are passed on from your bank, and they may terminate your contract, or at the very least your interest rates will go up considerably.

You will then have the cost associated with identifying the security vulnerability and fixing it. You will also have fraud losses and you will need to pay compensation to your customers. That is without mentioning the damage it will do your reputation, which can be extremely hard to rebuild, and costly.

To ensure you don’t have to worry about this, get in touch with Retail Secure to discover more about our cyber security solution, which is a PCI Level 1 Certified solution. This is an affordable solution that reduces the chance of a data breach considerably and is easy to install and manage.

Are SMEs underestimating the data breach threat?

New statistics have revealed that SMEs are increasingly at risk of a data breach, yet there is a lack of understanding amongst these companies regarding the true cost of a cyber attack. This makes worrying reading, as it indicates that a lot of SMEs are at risk of fraud loss, non-compliance fines, and severe reputational damage because they are not taking the threat as seriously as they should be.

Recent figures announced by the government showed that the average cost of a data breach to a small business is £310,000. Is this something your business could afford to lose? Yet, just as worrying is the fact that the vast majority of business owners are underestimating this threat. In fact, Experian found that SMEs are undervaluing the cost of a data breach by a massive 40 per cent. This research was conducted as part of their third annual study on data breach preparedness, entitled ‘SMEs under threat’.

This means that most companies predict the cost of a data breach to be around £179,990. Thus, if the worst were to happen, they would find themselves needing to find an extra £130,000 than anticipated. Unfortunately, the picture becomes even bleaker when you consider the additional indirect expenses that are associated with the loss of trust and reputational damage that occurs after a breach.

It seems that the ‘it will never happen to us’ attitude is still going strong. SMEs should take note of the findings in this survey. Only 23 per cent of those interviewed stated that they think a data breach would have a negative impact on their customers, causing them to look elsewhere. However, the reality is that 64 per cent of consumers say a data breach would discourage them from using the services of an SME.

Not only are SMEs failing to acknowledge the threat, but also they are not preparing effectively either. 65 per cent of companies interviewed stated that they have a data breach response plan. Of those that did not have a plan, 51 per cent said they do not view it as a priority, and 39 per cent don’t think they are at risk. Moreover, only 29 per cent of these organisations update their plan on a quarterly basis. For a plan to be effective, it must be updated, audited, and tested regularly.

The way you response to a data breach is imperative. It could be the difference between your business surviving the breach and not. Can you hold onto the vast majority of your consumers? Or, will you make the situation even worse? A lot of businesses fall into the latter category. In regards to SME data breach response, the following statistics were found – 75 per cent had no forensics, 60 per cent had no customer remediation, 49 per cent had no communication plans, 48 per cent had no insurance plans, 45 per cent had no legal plans, and 42 per cent had no customer notification. The lack of preparedness is extremely worrying.

Don’t be one of these statistics. Take the steps to secure your business to minimise the chance of a data breach occurring.

Retail Secure becomes a Friendly WiFi approved provider

We are delighted to announce that we have become a Friendly WiFi approved provider. Friendly WiFi is the world’s first accreditation scheme for Public WiFi. Discover more about the scheme and our partnership with Friendly WiFi below.

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What is Friendly WiFi?

Friendly WiFi is a scheme that was introduced in response to government demand. It gives companies across the country the ability to display the colourful ‘Friendly WiFi’ symbol, which shows all consumers that their WiFi network is safe to use.

By displaying the Friendly WiFi symbol, you confirm that you have met the safe standard, which means you make an effort to block out all indecent images of children, including pornography. This incorporates the use of the block list from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). This assures all users that the WiFi is family friendly and that the company is responsible and makes an effort to protect children. It gives children, young people, and parents the ability to make informed choices when selecting a WiFi hotspot.

This scheme was introduced in 2014, and it has grown considerably since. The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) collaborated with RDI (UK) Holdings for the creation and launch of the Friendly WiFi, which is now available to any company, irrespective of their size or the industry they operate in. There are now more than 2,000 venues that are part of the scheme, including Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Ikea, and Starbucks.

Of course, these businesses will need to meet certain criteria to have the privilege of displaying the Friendly WiFi logo. They need to fill out an application form, after which Friendly WiFi will check to ensure the venue meets the requirements that are in place. If so, the venue will sign a trademark license agreement.

Friendly WiFi and Retail Secure

Now you know a little bit more about Friendly WiFi, and no doubt you will understand why we are delighted to be part of such an important scheme. As an approved provider, we supply products and services that adhere to all of the specifications of the scheme, and this means that all of our clients have the ability to join Friendly WiFi as well and display the logo at their venue.

This will ensure that all child abuse websites that are known to the IWF are prohibited and that access to pornographic material is filtered, and it will also instil trust with your customers. You simply need to pay a small annual licence fee for this privilege. Not only will you have the ability to use the Friendly WiFi logo, but you will also be added to the Friendly WiFi UK search locater at www.friendlywifi.com. Thus, when parents search for responsible WiFi venues, your business’s name will appear.

Why you should provide guest WiFi at your chiropractic clinic

Guest WiFi is something that more and more customers demand nowadays. However, there are a lot of us that assume this is a service that is only suited to the likes of hotels, cafes, and bars. It’s understandable why you’d think this way, after all, a lot of people stay at hotels on business trips and it’s not uncommon for people to take their laptop along with them when they go for a coffee at their local café. Nevertheless, the benefits of customer WiFi extend a lot further than you may realise. This is something that could do wonders for your chiropractic clinic. Read on to discover more.

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  • Improve customer satisfaction – One of the key benefits associated with free WiFi provision is the fact that you will increase customer satisfaction considerably. You know what it is like when appointments run behind schedule and customers get frustrated. There is nothing you can do about it, but this doesn’t stop your clients from feeling disgruntled. With guest WiFi, you boost satisfaction because you give your customers something to do while they wait. This shows that you value their time.
  • Send targeted marketing messages – The best customer WiFi solutions give you an amazing insight into your clients. You will receive real-time data about all of your connected customers. You can then use this to send instant push notifications and marketing messages. You could, for example, give them a discount off their next visit or you could reward them for referring a friend. This is a great way to ensure repeat business and to encourage customer loyalty.
  • Attract more clients – The sheer fact that you provide guest WiFi is something that can make new customers choose your business over other chiropractic clinics in the area. There is plenty of research to back up the fact that WiFi has an influence on the mind of the consumer.
  • Add value to the service you provide – You cannot only use the customer analytics to improve target marketing, but you can also use them to add value to the service you provide. For example, you could send useful information suited to each patient, including tips on managing their condition at home and other general pieces of information that will be useful to them.
  • Brand your chiropractic clinic more effectively – Last but not least, guest WiFi also represents an excellent way for you to brand your business to full effect. There are many different features you can make the most of, including a customised landing page. The landing page is the page your clients will see when they go to log in to your network. It’s like a digital shop window, so you want to make sure you make a good impression. There are various ways you can do this. You should always include your logo, as well as any other compelling marketing messages.