Wi-Fi Security FAQs
Download UserSafe™ infosheet
What is UserSafe™ technology?
This technology ensures that no user can view or access another user's Wi-Fi device while logged on to your network. User's personal information, transactions and activities are 100% protected. In addition, users are protected from a host of dangerous new "hacking" apps that allow users to tamper with and gain access to files on another user's device over Wi-Fi.
Aren't all managed Wi-Fi networks secure?
Absolutely not! The New York Post recently wrote an article addressing the dangers of unsecured Wi-Fi "hotspots". In this article a major Internet provider was used as an example. NY Post investigators logged onto a hotspot at a chain coffee shop and within minutes were able to gain access to over 30 other computers that were logged on! Read the New York Post article
Why isn't secure http (i.e. https) enough?
Secure HTTP, or HTTPS, provides an application-level encrypted connection between a client’s browser and a site on the Internet. This technology is commonly used for banking sites, most web-based email applications, and even popular social media applications like Facebook. While your application data is indeed encrypted when using HTTPS, it does not protect your device from being hacked into in other ways – it only is protecting the data shared between your client device and that specific web site.
What security technology does Spot On Networks use?
Spot On Networks utilizes UserSafe™ technology to protect users. UserSafe™ ensures that no user can communicate with another device that is on the Wi-Fi network. Devices are only able to communicate directly with the Internet. In addition Spot On Networks uses the same standards used by most e-commerce and on-line banking web servers to ensure secure communications when getting online.
What is the difference between a "hotspot" and a UserSafe™ protected network?
A "hotspot" offers Internet access over a wireless local area network through the use of a router connected to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Typically hotspots utilize Wi-Fi technology and can be found everywhere, in homes, businesses, public parks, etc. The danger of Wi-Fi hotspots is that in addition to being able to communicate with the Internet, devices may also be able to communicate with other devices that are logged on to the same Wi-Fi hotspot. This inter-network communication creates a security danger for unsuspecting network users. On a UserSafe™ protected network, no user is able to see or communicate with another network user's device. With UserSafe™, a network user's activities, personal contacts, documents, files, transactions and general usage are completely protected from other users on the network.
What is the difference between a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and UserSafe™ technology?
A virtual private network (VPN) is an encrypted point-to-point tunnel established through the local network and the Internet to connect the end-user client device with an Internet-based VPN server. Such a connection does isolate clients from any other users on the local network. However, establishing a VPN connection requires that the user have access to a VPN server (typically provided by corporate networks for their employees) and must have the appropriate client software installed on their laptop to use it. There may be additional web surfing restrictions imposed by the corporate VPN provider. Also, VPN software is generally not available for smartphone and tablet devices.
With UserSafe™, keeping end-user clients isolated from each other is intrinsically built into the network, so there is no need for the client to take any additional steps; there is no software for a user to install, there are no extra charges, and there are no service subscriptions to maintain. UserSafe™ is guaranteed to work automatically on ANY and ALL existing or future network devices.
If a user has security software, such as Norton Antivirus on their computer, aren't they protected?
No. Security software suites such as Norton Antivirus, McAfee, etc. only protect users devices from security breaches that occur from the Internet, not from the Wi-Fi network itself. User's with security suites are still vulnerable to malicious communications that occur over an unprotected Wi-Fi network.
What security risks are there for users on an "unsecured" network?
Most people have accessed unsecured, public Wi-Fi hotspots at parks, coffee shops, small business and even residential properties and hotels. With the massive increase in Smartphone usage, the number of people accessing public hotspots has become even greater - putting more people at risk on their smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc. The largest security risk right now comes from new hacking tools that are being used to sniff your private information right from your smartphone or other Wi-Fi device. Hackers in a public hotspot can access your device and actually watch exactly what you are doing - entering passwords, shopping on line, using social media... all this and more is vulnerable to hackers over Wi-Fi.
Don't Wi-Fi routers provide enough security if the wireless network is protected with an encryption key (e.g. WEP, WPA)?
Wi-Fi encryption is only able to limit who is able to access a particular wireless network and only encypts the data traffic between the client device and the access point. Users connected to the network are still completely vulnerable to malicious activity from other connected users. Additionally, virtually all public Wi-Fi networks do not utilize encryption keys so as to allow users to access the public network in the first place.
Isn't there any government regulation on providing security for public Wi-Fi networks?
No. Currently there is no government regulation that states that a Wi-Fi network needs to protect users from inter-network user communications.
That being said, since unsecured Wi-Fi is such an increasingly growing concern, regulation may not be far off.
How are Spot on Networks protected?
Spot On Networks requires that users create a personal account with a UNIQUE username and password. By doing thi,s we are able to monitor individual network usage. The creation of a unique username and password also ensures that our Wi-Fi networks are CALEA compliant and that you are legally protected and in compliance with government regulation. For more information on government regulations and CALEA compliance, please visit: http://www.fcc.gov/CALEA.
Won't making my Wi-Fi network require username/ password make it harder for users to access?
As more and more users are becoming concerned about network security and the security of their personal information over Wi-Fi networks, users are coming to expect and prefer to use networks that are password protected. Furthermore, by requiring users to create a unique username and password, we are ensuring that your Wi-Fi network is in compliance with CALEA and government regulation. For more information on government regulations and CALEA compliance, please visit: http://www.fcc.gov/CALEA.