How secure is your business phone’s wifi hotspot How secure is your business phone’s wifi hotspot

Creating a Wifi hotspot using your business phone can be an easy way to create mobile internet for your laptop so you can work remotely.

It’s more secure than using public WiFi because it creates a personal internet connection for you.

Unlike public WiFi connections, which can easily be duplicated by hackers to con people into entering their sensitive information into a fake website, you know your personal WiFi hotspot is a legitimate connection.

Plus, it’s password protected.

But using your business phone to create a mobile hotspot doesn’t come without its own risks and potential problems.

Here, we run through the main things to think about if you’re going to tether a mobile device to your phone’s personal hotspot.

What is a mobile hotspot and how does it work?

A mobile hotspot is a wireless internet access point that allows you to connect your laptop or tablet to the internet through your phone when you’re on the go.

The majority of modern smartphones come with your own personal hotspot already built in, you just need to enable it.

They work by tapping into 3G, 4G or more recently, 5G cellular networks, just like your smartphone does.

As long as your employees have a stable connection on their business phone, they’ll be able to connect to the internet anywhere they want – ideal if they’re working remotely.

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How to turn your business phone into a WiFi hotspot

The way you turn your phone into a WiFi hotspot will vary slightly from phone to phone, but it isn’t complicated at all and will only take you a few seconds to get it up and running.

  • iOS devices

Go to your phone’s settings then, depending on the model you have, go either straight to ‘Personal Hotspot’ or ‘General’  and then ‘Network’ and slide the switch on.

  • Android devices

Go to your settings and find Wireless and Networks.

From here go to ‘Tethering and Portable Hotspot’ and tick the box for Portable Hotspot.

Again, this will probably vary from model to model, so it’s best to check with a quick Google search or flick through your phone’s manual if you can’t find the right settings.

Security considerations

Using your business phone as a personal WiFi hotspot has clear benefits, but you still need to be cautious and smart about how you use it and keep yourself protected.

Switching on your phone’s hotspot makes your network discoverable to anyone nearby, including the likes of hackers and data thieves.

Hotspots on Android devices are “open access”, which means no secure password is created when setting up the hotspot and anyone will be able to access your network – as well as get their hands on your sensitive company data.

But you can create a password for your network.

Apple iPhones, though, automatically generate a secure password for your hotspot.

If your employee is the only one who should be using the network, then they should make sure they create their own secure password – something that’s longer and harder for people to guess.

This way they can prevent unwanted people from joining their network and using their data allowance, or potentially getting hold of private business information.

The best option is to use the hotspot settings to prevent other people from joining the network or to stop it from being discoverable by other people.

This ensures it remains safe from hackers as they won’t be able to find the network in the first place.

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Cost considerations

Hotspot data usage is directly related to what you’re doing on your other devices.

One of the biggest things to consider for your employees using their business phones as a hotspot is that it does run down their mobile data.

It can run it down considerably in a short time if they’re performing a lot of data-intensive tasks.

Take Zoom for example, we’ve all had to use it at some point in the last 18 months.

Research from Whistle Out shows that spending one hour on Zoom uses up to 810MB of your data per hour while web browsing uses 60MB per hour.

If your employees are on meeting after meeting, this will add up quickly and it could mean they’re having to exceed their data limits to be able to continue working efficiently.

Before you’re allowing your employees to tether mobile devices to the business phone, make sure you have a data plan first that’s able to support them.

An effective remote working tool, that needs careful management

Creating a WiFi hotspot using a business phone can be a more effective and secure way of enabling employees to connect to their work systems.

It needs to be carefully managed though, from a security and awareness standpoint as well as from a cost perspective.

Make sure you have a business mobile phone plan that can support the use of mobile hotspot and data.

There’s a wide range of plans available with a number of reputable providers for you to choose from, so you’re bound to find something perfect for you and your employees.

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