With today’s world being so mobile, it’s nice to be able to take your laptop to a café and crack on with some work. It’s certainly freeing to not be tied to a desk, but is it secure? Just because you’re hooked up to your phone data doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible to others. As seen recently, there’s no discriminating who is going to be the next victim of a Cyber-Attack so, below are a few tips on best practices to keep your data secure while hot-spotting.

Ensure you have a strong password
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, if passwordless access isn’t an option, ensure you have a strong passphrase. A passphrase is far harder to hack than a standard password with capitals and numbers etc. Also, the longer it is, the more secure. This way only you have control over who can access your hotspot. If you’re unsure who you have given access to, change your password!

Select the right Security Protocol
Getting technical; when choosing your hostpot security, ensure you select the WPA2 security setting. This is the most secure when given the option of WEP (Wire Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (WiFi Protected Access) as well.

Choose a good SSID
An SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the name of a network like “Home WiFi”. You need to ensure the name of your personal hotspot network is something recognisable to only you – not your name i.e “Jess iPhone”. This will make it less obvious that it’s your mobile hotspot.

Use a VPN
Installing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your phone (as well as any other device you connect to your phone) will limit cyber spies and criminals from being able to access data on the devices. Some VPN services can cover up to 5 devices connected to your hotspot whilst keeping the data secure.

This goes for any device, really. Keeping your Antivirus up to date is one of the most important things to keep your data secure. Lately, it is becoming more common for hackers to attack phones as well as computers, so making sure you have a decent antivirus (not a free one) for your smartphone is paramount to securing all data on your device.

These points aren’t just relevant to hot spotting from your phone, they can be applied when using a portable hotspot/dongle. Even if you’re using free café WiFi you need to ensure you are taking all the steps to keep your device safe. It’s especially easy for hackers to take advantage of public networks.

If you’re unsure how to check if your mobile or any other device is safe, or if you know it isn’t and need help rectifying that, contact your IT or get in touch with us at ONGC today. We will be more than happy to make sure you’re safe out there and able to work wherever you decide your office is today.