IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  Please be advised that due to sidewalk construction at the 185 Genesee Street branch, our ATM will not be available after normal banking hours.  Please use the ATMs at 2817 Genesee Street, Commercial Drive or our Whitesboro branch.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

You’re working on a project in a public area and need access to the Internet to complete the job. Unfortunately, there isn’t any public Wi-Fi service available where you are. Did you know that your smartphone may have mobile hotspot features that allow you to connect to your own personal network?

If you use a mobile hotspot in public, it’s important to be aware of how it works, what are some of the possible dangers, and what you should do to protect yourself.

What is a mobile hotspot and how does it work?

A mobile hotspot device allows you to use a wireless signal for other devices to connect to while you’re on-the-go. It takes an LTE (5G) connection from your phone and converts it to a Wi-Fi signal. You can connect your computer or other device just like you would on your home network. This process is called tethering.

The hotspots are small enough to fit in your hand but work anywhere you have a strong LTE connection. The speed may not be as fast as at-home broadband Wi-Fi with a limited connection range. Standard on most mobile devices, you may have additional costs depending on your smartphone carrier and device. The hotspot speed may vary depending on your data plan and number of gigabytes. Keep in mind that smartphone hotspots are your mobile device, meaning your battery will quickly deplete.

Check with your carrier to see if your smartphone has mobile hotspot capabilities and if so, does this incur any additional costs.

What are some dangers?

Some of the dangers of mobile hotspots may include:

  • Losing control of information over an Internet connection. Hotspots could expose login credentials to hackers, allowing them to breach the network and access sensitive or financial data.
  • Becoming a victim of phishing. A hacker could create a hotspot with the same or similar name to an actual hotspot.
  • Losing cellular data. A hacker could connect to a company’s hotspot using up all their data. The company could spend more money for users who stream videos using a significant amount of bandwidth.

How to stay secure with a mobile hotspot?

There are ways you can ensure your connection stays secure when using a mobile hotspot. They include:

  • Enabling WPA2 encryption. Select the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) option for your hotspot. This is more secure and is the standard for wireless networks.
  • Setting a strong password. Create a strong password or passphrase for your hotspot. You can also set a network name specific to you.
  • Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This adds another layer of security to your hotspot. While you surf the web, a VPN encrypts the traffic and allows access to services for basic work duties.
  • Updating your device’s antivirus software. Make sure you have the most up-to-date antivirus software on your smartphone and whatever devices will be connected to your hotspot. This will protect you from possible viruses or malware.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with Adirondack Bank. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. Adirondack Bank is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the information provided or the content of any third-party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. Adirondack Bank makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.