Coworking: The Public Wi-Fi Dilemma



It’s been said that New York City may have the highest concentration of coworking spaces in the world. A booming tech industry, coupled with a dearth of affordable office space, has created a climate in which young start-up industries can benefit hugely from shared working spaces. The ability to share knowledge, draw on the expertise of others, and share a cameradie that is often lacking in corporate environments, leads to more dynamic business practices, and, of course, a more cost-efficient operational model. However, there can be drawbacks…

The majority of co-working offices spaces utilize public Wi-Fi networks to service their clientele. While fast and efficient Internet access is crucial to any work space, the porous nature of public Wi-Fi networks can be problematic if you value your online privacy. This is because public hotspots are generally unencrypted, which means your data and network traffic, including the pages you visit, and even the passwords you enter, are clearly visible to others using the same network. By using ‘spyware’, any other user on your network can hi-jack your browsing session, or even access your personal bank accounts. If that wasn’t bad enough, you could also fall prey to malware scams, or even find your device infected with everyone’s worst fear, the dreaded ransomware.

If you find yourself in a co-working office space that uses a public Wi-Fi network, being aware of these dangers in incredibly important. Because you’re only human, you probably need to take the odd break from your labor to recharge and regenerate, which means you may occasionally be browsing sites that don’t strictly fall into the ‘work-related’ category. Taking sporadic breaks from your work tasks has proven to be quite beneficial – a recent study from Baylor University suggests that workers who spend their breaks doing something they enjoy will return to their tasks feeling energized and motivated… and couldn’t we all do with some extra motivation?

No longer simply content with distracting themselves for a few leisurely minutes, many Americans scour the web for ways in which they can earn a few dollars during their down-time. Of course, one of the best ways in which you can do this is by gambling online, which is completely legal in New York, provided that you play at an off-shore casino. If you, like many other New Yorkers, secretly enjoy the thrill of online gambling for real money for example, you’ll probably want to keep that info on the down-low within your shared working space. This isn’t just because of the whole ‘online gambling during work hours’ issue, but also because you wouldn’t really want your sensitive password or banking information to become public knowledge.

The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can follow to keep yourself safe and protected while enjoying a few games of legal online gambling via a public Wi-Fi network. The first is to make sure you use a reputable VPN for all of your browsing. A Virtual Private Network will encrypt your data for you, and provide you with an anonymous IP address to protect your online privacy. This means that even if a hacker managed to insert themselves into your data stream, the information gathered would be buried within layers of encryption, and hopefully, prove too troublesome to untangle.

Another thing you can do is make sure you only visit sites that use SSL-encryption to protect their users. If you’re curious as to whether the site you are acessing is secure, just have a little look at the address bar – if the web address begins with ‘https’, and features a small green padlock in the URL bar, you’re at a safe and secure site.

Taking a break to enjoy a few quick rounds of online gambling for real money can leave you feeling regenerated, refreshed, and ready to continue with your taskload. Just remember our simple tips to keep yourself secure and safe, and you could be enjoying some safe online gambling from your desk in one of NYC’s trendiest coworking spots.




Image credit: CC by Edward Blake

About the author: AlleyVoice

AlleyVoice is a platform that allows startups and marketers looking to connect with the AlleyWatch audience to provide content of interest – and giving them the opportunity to actively participate in the conversation.

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