Free Wi-Fi internet is a common amenity in a lot of businesses, so it makes sense that your homeowners association might want to offer it for your residents. But there are some risks involved with offering the option of free internet if you don’t have the proper equipment or safeguards in place.
When these types of abuses happen, the ISP generally sends a cease and desist letter including consequences like demands for remediation and discontinuation of service. If the crime is bad enough, police may even get involved.
Thankfully, there are several things a homeowners association can do to prevent extreme situations and problems like this.
One of the most common mistakes made by HOAs when setting up an internet connection is choosing equipment that is meant for use in homes. This type of equipment does not have the amount of security features sufficient to protect an entire community.
Also, don’t use the public Wi-Fi for association business. Your board should have a separate private, password-protected Wi-Fi connection for added protection.
You can also identify who is misusing the service and report them to police.
Some other protective measures include having several ISP’s, being diligent about replacing failed equipment and keeping up with the latest technology, and segmenting traffic to guard against hacking.