My wife was alarmed to learn she had incurred 3 Gigs of data the first time she tethered to her laptop. If I understand correctly, she was told this was a result of programs running in background on her laptop.
Will this happen every time she tethers? If so, she would be using her monthly limit in no time at all. She is working from a location without WIFI
If it's a Windows 10 laptop, yes it very well could. She'll have to go into the system settings and change the wifi hotspot from her phone to metered.
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While you are in the Windows network settings you should make sure the tethered network is set to Private. Windows might have set it to Public which places security restrictions that may get in the way of certain functionality. Of course you should put to to Public if you are actually on a public network like a coffee shop WiFi for instance.