Bluetooth has become one of the most prevalent connective technologies in use today. Our mobile devices and our computers use it — even our appliances and cars are now equipped with Bluetooth. There’s just no getting away from it, especially as newer products are built.
Things You Need to Know About Bluetooth Security
Bluetooth is a great way to connect devices, but an unsecure connection can be an open invite for hackers to monitor your usage and steal your data. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure that your connections are secure. So whether you want to strengthen the security of the Bluetooth in your tablet or your new Jeep Wrangler, here are some tips to securing your wireless connection.
What are the Threats?
With an unsecure or weakly protected Bluetooth connection, hackers can intercept your devices’ signals and learn everything about you, from your birthday and passwords to credit card numbers and bank accounts. There are several ways they do this.
They use worms and viruses that they infect devices with through the Bluetooth connection. These malware programs will be placed in certain apps and then turn on and search your device for information once the app is opened.
“Snarfing” is another tactic used by hackers. They hack into your Bluetooth device and can directly download your contact information, calendars and pictures. This may not give them immediate information, but they can then use it to figure out passwords and other vital info.
Levels of Security
Bluetooth devices come with security added to them to help fight hackers, but sometimes it’s not enough, especially if you use an older device.
Security comes in four levels, 1 through 4. Level 1 security is basic and can allow nearly anyone to listen to phone calls and intercept your data. Level 2 is more advanced because it asks for authentication from both connected devices, but it pairs before the authentication, meaning there’s a window for hackers. Level 3 authenticate before devices pair, closing that window and making the connection very secure. Level 4 uses stronger authentication codes than Level 3 to make a more secure connection.
You can find out which security level your device has by contacted the manufacturer. It’s safe to assume, however, that the newer the device, the more secure it is.
What Else You Can Do
There is no such thing as a 100% secure connection: even the best security may be hacked eventually. So there are some things you can do yourself to keep your Bluetooth secure.
First, always turn your Bluetooth off when you are not using it. If you can, buy wireless speakers and headphones with signal encryption. Always update your Bluetooth software if an upgrade or patch is made available. Finally, if you lose a Bluetooth-enabled device, erase it from all of your other devices that have paired with it: someone could use it to hack into those devices.
Bluetooth is a great technology for connectivity, but you need to take some precautions and know what you are buying.
Jordan Warren is an office worker by day, and a tech ninja by night! He’s the man who is seemingly on call 24/7 for his friends and family who need his tech support!