Free wi-fi at The Walnuts in Orpington

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

BARGAIN hunters will soon be able to pick up free wi-fi while they shop thanks to The Walnuts shopping centre installing the service.

After registering on their smartphones or tablet PCs shoppers will be redirected to a branded webpage and will then be able to surf online.

Shops and restaurant owners at the centre in Orpington can also make use of the service by offering discounts and special offers to those logging on.

The wi-fi starts on Saturday (January 12).

Centre manager Martin Price said: “This is an exciting time for The Walnuts and we are pleased to announce that the new free wi-fi is one way we are listening and responding to what our shoppers want."

Comments (6)

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8:51am Thu 10 Jan 13

Slonik says...

Yeah, they can do their 'real' shopping online whilst they sit supping overpriced coffee. That'll save the high street won't it...
Yeah, they can do their 'real' shopping online whilst they sit supping overpriced coffee. That'll save the high street won't it... Slonik
  • Score: 0

10:30am Thu 10 Jan 13

bnorther says...

Whilst these services are "free", they do come at a cost of privacy.

Be aware that as you register and give your email address, and any other details surenderd such as age, adress, sex etc, will then be held on a database for marketing. Then, using wifi triangulation, the owners of these malls then use this information to figure out exactly where you are walking, which shows you visit, how long you stay. This is valuable information for the mall and shops, and possible other companies such as facebook etc. which the information may be provided to.

Even if you don't register to use the wifi, they can still follow your MAC address of your smartphone if your wifi is switched on.

So I am not saying don't use these services, but be aware of the use of your data and make sure you are comfortable with it.
Whilst these services are "free", they do come at a cost of privacy. Be aware that as you register and give your email address, and any other details surenderd such as age, adress, sex etc, will then be held on a database for marketing. Then, using wifi triangulation, the owners of these malls then use this information to figure out exactly where you are walking, which shows you visit, how long you stay. This is valuable information for the mall and shops, and possible other companies such as facebook etc. which the information may be provided to. Even if you don't register to use the wifi, they can still follow your MAC address of your smartphone if your wifi is switched on. So I am not saying don't use these services, but be aware of the use of your data and make sure you are comfortable with it. bnorther
  • Score: 0

10:33am Thu 10 Jan 13

Gypo.Joe says...

bnorther dont forget the CCTV either.

tHaNk You
bnorther dont forget the CCTV either. tHaNk You Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 0

10:59am Thu 10 Jan 13

the wall says...

Big brother is watching you all.
Big brother is watching you all. the wall
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Slonik says...

Just to add, I'd never use an insecure public wi-fi network, especially for things like online banking, financial transactions, personal data etc.
Just to add, I'd never use an insecure public wi-fi network, especially for things like online banking, financial transactions, personal data etc. Slonik
  • Score: 0

9:55am Fri 11 Jan 13

bnorther says...

Slonik wrote:
Just to add, I'd never use an insecure public wi-fi network, especially for things like online banking, financial transactions, personal data etc.
Online banking should be ok, as the whole of the data is protected via https encryption.

The problem may occur with emails or regular websites (http) etc, some parts of which are not encrypted, so it is possible to intercept these on un-encrypted wifi hotspots. Even if you don't check your email, the email app on your smartphone may be doing it in the background, presenting your username and password, un-encrypted across the wifi. Not Good, as tools to do this are available quite legit online. The tools do have a legit purpose for network engineers, unfortunately, the bad folk use them as well.

To be fair, companies like google are starting to fix this problem, by moving their services to https/ssl, but it takes time to get to everyone etc.
[quote][p][bold]Slonik[/bold] wrote: Just to add, I'd never use an insecure public wi-fi network, especially for things like online banking, financial transactions, personal data etc.[/p][/quote]Online banking should be ok, as the whole of the data is protected via https encryption. The problem may occur with emails or regular websites (http) etc, some parts of which are not encrypted, so it is possible to intercept these on un-encrypted wifi hotspots. Even if you don't check your email, the email app on your smartphone may be doing it in the background, presenting your username and password, un-encrypted across the wifi. Not Good, as tools to do this are available quite legit online. The tools do have a legit purpose for network engineers, unfortunately, the bad folk use them as well. To be fair, companies like google are starting to fix this problem, by moving their services to https/ssl, but it takes time to get to everyone etc. bnorther
  • Score: 0

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