Don’t be a victim: Leaving your phone’s Bluetooth on is a major security risk
Protecting yourself from minions and hackers is a daunting task, but developing certain habits can make it easier.
Here’s an easy fix: Stop giving your phone number out to every place that needs it. Read my roundup of tips on the best ways to hide your phone number and email address for help.
Another smart step is to regularly check your most important accounts. use google? Start here.
Here’s a mistake I bet you didn’t know you were making: Leaving your smartphone’s Bluetooth on 24/7.
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Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology that allows different devices to communicate with each other. You’ll find this technology in cars, speakers, TVs, headphones, keyboards, mice, printers, and more.
It works similar to Wi-Fi and cellular networks, but performs simpler tasks over a shorter range. You don’t need a cellular signal or network connection to use Bluetooth, and it doesn’t use data.
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You’ll find this technology incorporated into just about every smartphone you can buy today. But like Wi-Fi networks or other connections, Bluetooth has vulnerabilities.
Here’s how these attacks work
Threat actors can exploit Bluetooth-enabled devices in several ways:
- They send spam and malicious links to trick you into providing personal information or downloading malware.
- Hackers connect to your phone and install malware or backdoor access. They then eavesdrop on your conversations, read your messages and access your contacts. Essentially, they’re bugging your phone.
- Cybercriminals retrieve information from your phone, such as call logs, photos, and passwords, and use it for identity theft or to hold ransom.
Hackers and scammers need to be near you to hijack your phone using Bluetooth. But in almost any public place, you keep your distance from strangers.
what can you do
While Bluetooth is good for many applications, use it sparingly.
My advice: turn off bluetooth when not in use. Being always active makes your device more discoverable. As a bonus, keeping Bluetooth off will increase your device’s battery life.
Here are some more ways to protect yourself:
- Unpair any Bluetooth devices that you no longer use or that you have lost or sold.
- Do not send sensitive information over Bluetooth as it can be easily intercepted by others. You should avoid sending anything over Bluetooth in public places, even to a friend sitting next to you.
- Do not accept any files or unknown messages via bluetooth.
- Do not accept Bluetooth pairing requests from devices you do not recognize.
- Keep your device updated to protect yourself from the latest threats.
related: Smartphone Alert: Check These Settings Now on Your iPhone or Android
How to Turn Off Bluetooth on an iPhone or Android Phone
There are several ways to disable Bluetooth on an iPhone.go set up > Bluetooth and close it.You can also swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen to open Control Center, then tap bluetooth icon.
The same steps work for Android phones: go to set up > connected device > connection preferences > Bluetooth and close it. (Note: Steps vary by phone model. If these steps don’t match your phone, find or search Bluetooth.)
You can also swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the status bar, then swipe down and tap Bluetooth Turn it off.
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Airplane mode also disables things like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so it can work in a pinch—but you won’t receive calls or texts.
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Also, I did my research and found the best independent news sites. I get freebies from my cable company and you can too. Scammers are after seniors on Medicare. Here’s what to look out for, and warn your family!
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