Much like other communication technologies out there from telecommunications to the internet, they all seem harmless on the surface but there is always a security risk when dealing with communication technology. And Bluetooth technology is no exception. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables devices to communicate with other devices. This allows potential hackers to hack your Bluetooth enabled devices.
There are several ways hackers can trespass against you:
Bluejackers – Hackers that send unwanted messages to your Bluetooth enabled cell phones.
Bluesnarfers – Hackers that steal personal data from your Bluetooth enabled cell phone, laptop, and tablets).
It’s a rare occasion to be hacked via Bluetooth. In fact, there’s only one friend that I know has gotten Bluetooth hacked. He speculates that he was hacked while fulfilling a job for his Hawaii carpet cleaning company.
But, not to fear, there’s a lot that you can do to protect your equipment, personal data, and identity from being hacked from your Bluetooth enabled devices. Here are 6 Bluetooth security & safety tips:
- Make sure your security and authentication settings are always on. Also, be sure to set those security settings to the highest settings available. Usually, the highest security settings will prompt you to give permission to any Bluetooth devices trying to connect to your phone. Sometimes a code is needed to pair two devices together. This is what you ideally want to enable when setting up your devices to communicate with each other via BT.
- Be aware of people around you. Bluetooth’s connection range is between about 15 to 45 feet. If someone wants to attempt to hack you, they will try to be relatively close to your device.
- Delete any unused Bluetooth profiles. They can provide a hacker with a backdoor entrance to your device’s data. In the settings section, you can view your devices Bluetooth profiles that have been set up. The profiles are all the Bluetooth connections that you have ever connected to. They are saved to make connecting to those devices faster and/or automatically. Delete the ones that you no longer use.
- Always use a unique passcode for your Bluetooth connection authentication. Devices come with its obvious default codes such as 1234, 0000, or other easily guessable passcodes. And they are usually the same for the same devices of its kind or brand. A hacker who knows or can figure out your devices default passcode only makes it easier for him/her to get what they want from your device. Change these passcodes immediately upon purchase to a unique code that you can remember.
- Turn your Bluetooth device’s visibility setting to “UNDISCOVERABLE”.
- Never allow a Bluetooth device that you don’t recognize pair to your device. If you don’t know who’s attempting to connect to your device, deny the pairing to the device and move away from the area. If it’s a person you just met or don’t truly know yet that’s trying to connect to you, perhaps have them send the information via email or text message rather than over Bluetooth. You never know who is out there and what they’re attempting to do.
You don’t need to keep your Bluetooth off when it’s not in use, like some people advise or believe. Just follow these 6 simple Bluetooth security and safety tips and you should be fine keeping your private and sensitive information on your devices safe.