I recently wrote a guest post over at a couple of weeks ago and talked about how almost every hotel is offering free Wi-Fi these days.  That is a great thing compared to forking over $10 or more per day to get online when your on the road.

Well I am on the road again and the hotel I am staying at, which will remain nameless for now, presented me this option when I was setting up my free unsecured Wi-Fi connection:


I still had the option for a free, unsecure wireless connection or I could pay this small fee of $2.99 and I would be provided a secure connection to the network that would allow me to securely browse the web, enter passwords, send emails and do instant messaging.

I opted to stay with the free connection because when I am travelling I avoid doing any transactions and if I do things like that I make sure I am on a secure page that begins with https:// so I know the connection between my computer and the server is secure and encrypted.

However, this ploy for $2.99 or however much they might want to charge is going to have some folks forking over the fee because they may not understand how it all works and think they are totally vulnerable otherwise.

Think about it – they see this dialog box about how their info will be secure if they pay this fee and for just $3 bucks.  They are using a scare tactic that there info will be unsecure.  If they are properly informed and protected by running a firewall and having anti-virus/malware software then their info will be as safe as it is at home.

Unfortunately, many will do this and the hotels will start to collect some of the costs for offering free Wi-Fi. 

So do you give them any credit for creativity?  Has anyone else ever seen this in their travels?  Let us know in the comments.