What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a technology that allows devices to communicate with each other without cables or wires within a short distance of each other.  Bluetooth is commonly used to download photos from a digital camera to a PC and link a hands-free headset to your cellphone. 

Like other technology, there are security risks!

How can you protect yourself?

  • Disable Bluetooth when you are not using it - Unless you are actively using it, disable the technology to prevent unauthorized people from accessing it.
  • Use Bluetooth in "hidden" mode - When you do have Bluetooth enabled, make sure it is "hidden," not "discoverable." The hidden mode prevents other Bluetooth devices from recognizing your device. This does not prevent you from using your Bluetooth devices together. You can "pair" devices so that they can find each other even if they are in hidden mode. Although the devices (for example, a mobile phone and a headset) will need to be in discoverable mode to initially locate each other, once they are "paired" they will always recognize each other without needing to rediscover the connection.
  • Be careful where you use Bluetooth - Be aware of your environment when pairing devices or operating in discoverable mode. For example, if you are in a public wireless "hotspot," there is a greater risk that someone else may be able to intercept the connection than if you are in your home or your car.
  • Verify incoming connections. Do not accept attachments or applications received on your phone or device if you weren't expecting them, no matter how legitimate they may seem. If your device asks to pair and you didn't initiate the pairing, deny it and check your 'discoverable' setting (should be OFF or 'hidden').
  • Evaluate your security settings - Most devices offer a variety of features that you can tailor to meet your needs and requirements. However, enabling certain features may leave you more vulnerable to being attacked, so disable any unnecessary features or Bluetooth connections. Examine your settings, particularly the security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk. Make sure that all of your Bluetooth connections are configured to require a secure connection.
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