What are some security concerns?

Depending upon how it is configured, Bluetooth technology can be fairly secure. Unfortunately, many Bluetooth devices rely on short numeric PIN numbers instead of more secure passwords or passphrases (see Choosing and Protecting Passwords for more information).

If someone can “discover” your Bluetooth device, he or she may be able to send you unsolicited messages or abuse your Bluetooth service, which could cause you to be charged extra fees. Worse, an attacker may be able to find a way to access or corrupt your data. One example of this type of activity is bluesnarfing,” which refers to attackers using a Bluetooth connection to steal information off of your Bluetooth device.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Disable Bluetooth when you are not using 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take advantage of security options – Learn what security options your Bluetooth device offers, and take advantage of features like authentication and encryption.