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Free Wi-Fi in downtown Wartrace

With an eye toward the future, the Town of Wartrace is upgrading its technology to protect and expand its telecommunications abilities. Using funds from the federal stimulus payment, Wartrace is installing its own server to allow communications and file sharing between different operational departments and to provide for more than one back-up of computer systems and software.

As a result of the upgrade, free Wi-Fi is now available in the downtown area for residents, businesses, and visitors to Wartrace. Access can be found under “TownGuestWiFi” with no password required.

“This upgrade is much-needed as most of our computers and systems are over five years old,” said Mayor Cindy Drake. “This work will also help prevent potential cyber-attacks, which have occurred with terrible consequences at other municipalities throughout the country. We are proactively taking steps to avoid being a victim of these ransomware and other malware attacks.”

Experts advise that online users can protect themselves by following some basic steps: 1) Read emails with an eagle eye to avoid phishing schemes; 2) Remove software you don’t use; 3) Do not call fake tech support phone numbers; 4) Don’t believe cold callers offering money, discounts, or services; 5) Use strong passwords or password managers; 6) Log out of websites after you’re done; and 7) Use a firewall, anti-malware, anti-ransomware; and anti-exploit technology. These precautions should always be in place, even when using free Wi-Fi provided by Wartrace and in other locations.

“Anytime you use free WiFi anywhere, never put in payment card information or identity information,” said Joseph Mattox, founder of Mattox Associates in Murfreesboro, Tenn. “Be sure to also have anti-virus software installed. I personally recommend Avast because it’s free on every platform. There is a pay option, but your standard consumer does not need the pay option.”

Local retailers are pleased the town is offering the service. “Free Wi-Fi for our customers, business travelers, and tourists will make their visit much more pleasant and it will allow them the opportunity to spend more time in our shops and other businesses,” said Wartrace Chamber of Commerce President Marie Pope. “Additionally we have several local businesses that offer crafting classes. Offering people the ability to livestream or watch and upload how-to videos while they work on their projects will definitely add value to our shops and stores.”


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