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Seemingly overnight, as many as 1 million Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access points have sprung up across the U.S., many centered at business establishments that rely on walk-in traffic. Though not heavily supported by advertising, these Wi-Fi networks have become a new high-tech tool in companies' marketing kits.
Personally, besides the inherent security issues that will most certainly vary from business to business, I see it wearing off after awhile. Too many folks will end up buying less products from the business place and surfing more.
Seems like a good idea.
I've also heard such accounts and like you, believe them to be an 'outside the box' pro-active measure to increase the business base in any locale.
Then too, I'm thinking of how many folks did not take advantage of the SQL patch six months ago, or those who don't use viral protection or firewalls/routers. I can't help but wonder just how many will not protect their WiFi connections either.
You know it's gonna happen...and happen...and happen.
I'll give you a forinstance:
A very business and investment consulting kinda guy I know uses Mac products and the Airport. He was always bragging about going along at a blistering pace (satellite connection), doing this and that, but he had no idea just how vulnerable he really was.
One morning (our regular Breakfast Club Meeting circa 1999 maybe?), some of us were talking about a show (ScreenSavers) where they were discussing the Airport and related security issues.
He was stunned when he heard how easily others could see what he was doing in real-time. He knows now.
I don't wish to appear as though I'm belaboring the security issue because I think the expansion of WiFi is a great idea...if precautions are taken.
I thought WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) would help things but, nope, it has come up short.
As weak as WEP has proven to be, it is still better than not using any encryption to keep the casual passerby from tapping into the WLANNow that makes me feel better!
Oh, good application there! Just a few years back, I was asked to be on a board/trustee committee at a small regional college where a major issue of competing for enrollment boiled down to wiring the campus w/ a fiber-optic backbone. They did go with the backbone, and it would still be needed in some places, but think of the money that was spent on remote parts of the campus --WiFi would have worked great there, in particular.