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I want to keep my laptop tethered to my phone's connection and was wondering if it is safe to keep emitting the personal hotspot wifi signal all day and anywhere I go (underground station, work, busy streets etc). Or would that have a risk of intrusion ?

My personal hotspot is password protected.

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If you've password protected the network, the only worry you should have is battery life on the phone providing the hotspot. You could also use a password with more entropy bits, but which is easier to remember. I would hazard a guess that not many folks are actively trying to crack random personal hotspots on the tube, walking around the park, grabbing an eel pie, or whatnot. I would suggest that if you remain concerned about it, just turn it off! You will certainly be saving some battery power and not zapping your gonads with wifi radiation, especially if you carry your phone in a pants pocket.

  • How about when I'm back in my apartment ? (great xkcd link btw haha) – Render Jul 20 '14 at 1:09
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If you're concerned about Wifi cracking, you can disable Wifi on your phone. Hotspot will prompt you if you'd like to turn it on or not, but if you leave it off, tethering will only function over USB or Bluetooth.

The opportunity and ability to crack Bluetooth is significantly harder. USB is quite easy if you leave your computer unattended. Difficult otherwise.

  • Why would it be more difficult for bluetooth rather than wifi ? – Render Jul 20 '14 at 1:10
  • Because you have to accept the pair explicitly. It's not password based. Not to mention the radio distance for Bluetooth is so much shorter than wifi. – Jason Salaz Jul 21 '14 at 3:46

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