Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
كيف تعمل الأشياء

How Secure Is Bluetooth? – Make Tech Easier

If you’ve been monitoring cybersecurity news, you have likely heard of issues surrounding Bluetooth security. Anytime hackers use Bluetooth to steal data, we must ask the question: just how secure is Bluetooth? Is it safe to operate, or is it so full of holes that you may as well keep it turned off?

Good to know: dealing with a Bluetooth metered connection error in Windows? Here’s how to resolve it.

How Does Bluetooth Get Hacked?

While it may sound strange that people can attack devices over Bluetooth, but it makes sense when you consider it. Given that all kinds of accessories can connect using Bluetooth technology, you can access all kinds of features over this wireless technology. Despite its intended purpose of facilitating communication, hackers actively misuse Bluetooth to target all types of devices, regardless of manufacturer and operating systems, in the following ways:

  • Bluejacking – one of the less serious types of attacks, it allows people to send unwanted messages to others.
  • Bluesnarfing – moving on to more dangerous and prevalent types of attacks, Bluesnarfing can access people’s private information, including photos, videos, contact lists, emails, and passwords
  • Bluebugging – this usually happens on phones with an outdated Bluetooth protocol that allows devices to be paired without the user’s consent. Attackers can exploit such vulnerabilities to control the phone’s features. This includes listening to the phone’s conversations, connecting to the device’s Wi-Fi, or reading text messages.
  • Bluesmacking – Bluetooth devices are also susceptible to DoS attacks, where gadgets are flooded with a deluge of large data packets. This overwhelming influx disrupts normal operations, forcing the device to shut down.
  • Car whispering – hackers can also exploit vulnerabilities in Bluetooth-enabled car radios to eavesdrop on conversations and phone calls, or even manipulate the car’s infotainment system for malicious purposes.

Scary, right? While Bluetooth technology has its flaws, it’s not entirely insecure. There’s plenty you can do, as a user, to stop an attack from happening!

Tip: learn how password crackers work and how to protect yourself.

How Do Hackers Access Bluetooth?

To figure out how to stop a Bluetooth security breach, we need to understand how hackers manage to execute in the first place. First, they need a device that’s currently broadcasting a Bluetooth connection. To establish that connection, a device broadcasts its presence, allowing users to initiate a connection request.

Pairing new device on Android device.

There’s a lot of security already built into Bluetooth to stop people from getting in without permission. If you’ve ever set up a Bluetooth device, you knoq that you have to perform a “pairing,” where you tell each device that it’s okay to connect with yours. This stops people from simply connecting to you without your knowledge or consent. Of course, sometimes that’s not enough to stop hackers from breaking into Bluetooth.

The vulnerability lies in devices with Bluetooth mode on, openly broadcasting their enabled status, creating an entry point for attackers. Therefore, maintaining awareness of a device’s broadcasting status is crucial for maintaining Bluetooth security.

How Can I Tell Whether My Device’s Bluetooth Was Hacked?

At this point, you may be wondering: are there are any telltale signs of a compromised Bluetooth connection? Obviously, if your device suddenly starts shutting down, unprompted, you should treat it as suspicious and start investigating. Beyond the obvious signs of a hack, the following are the subtler clues that could go unnoticed?

  • Your device starts acting up – frequent crashes, errors, and sudden battery drain on your device should always raise red flags, prompting you to investigate a potential security breach.
  • If you notice connections to unknown devices – Bluetooth connections that you don’t recognize represent vulnerabilities and should be eliminated as soon as possible.
  • You start seeing strange pop-ups – if random pop-ups start showing up on your device, it could be indicative of malware.
  • You notice unauthorized log-in attempts – if you receive notifications or emails alerting you that someone (that isn’t you) wants to log in, this is another sign that your device may be under attack.
  • You can’t log in to your accounts – at the same time, if you’re having trouble logging in to your account, even after double-checking your password, it can be another indication that hackers may have tempered with your device.

Tip: be wary of these LinkedIn scams as you’re searching for a new job.

How Can I Ensure Bluetooth Security on My Devices?

Implementing preventative measures can significantly reduce the risk of hackers exploiting your device’s Bluetooth connection for malicious intent. Make sure you adhere to the following preventative measures.

1. Turn Off Bluetooth When Not in Use

After using your Bluetooth devices, you should immediately deactivate Bluetooth mode. Not only does this save on battery power on mobile devices, but it makes it impossible for hackers to access it via Bluetooth.

Turning Bluetooth functionality off on Android device.

Laptops and smartphones usually have a quick way to turn Bluetooth mode on and off, either as a button on the device or a toggle in the operating system itself. Alternatively, disable the functionality from settings.

2. Disable Features That May Use Bluetooth

Some features on your smartphone take advantage of Bluetooth and may activate it without your knowledge. For instance, on Android phones, there’s a Quick Share protocol that lets you share content with devices nearby.

To avoid any issues, either disable visibility for your device, or opt to allow only your contacts to share with you. Open Settings on your phone, and navigate to Google -> Quick Share.

Changing settings for Quick Share feature on Android.

From the next screen, disable the toggle for Who can share with you, or leave it on, and tap the option to change the permission to Contacts.

Apple devices, on the other hand, have AirDrop, which enables them to quickly share files with Macs and other iOS devices nearby. As with Android, you should restrict who can connect to your device.

Bluetooth Safety Ios Turning Off Airdrop

Swipe down from the right corner of your display to bring up the Action Center. Long-press on toggles in the upper left. Tap the AirDrop toggle to bring up more options. Select Contacts only or Off.

FYI: learn how to use multiple Bluetooth speakers on your iPhone at the same time.

3. Disable Bluetooth for Apps That Don’t Need It

You should also be mindful of apps requesting Bluetooth access. If you’re not actively using them, there’s no need for them to track your location. Keep Bluetooth off for these apps, and enable the functionality only when you need it.

On iOS, head to Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Bluetooth. All the apps that have requested Bluetooth access are listed there. Toggle the options to off if you no longer want them to be paired.

Disabling Bluetooth for select apps on iPhone.

For Android phones, go to Settings -> Apps. Tap the app you suspect is using your Bluetooth. Select App permissions, then find Nearby devices, and tick the Don’t allow option.

Disabling Bluetooth for select apps on Android.

There’s an additional option on Android that you may want to disable. Navigate to Settings -> Location -> Location services -> Bluetooth scanning. This feature allows apps and services to scan for nearby devices at any time, even when Bluetooth is off. This can be used to improve location-based features, but you may want to turn it off.

Turning Bluetooth scanning off on Android phone.

4. Remove Bluetooth Connections You Don’t Use

Your device usually saves the gadgets you previously connected to via Bluetooth. For instance, if you connected a pair of headphones that you no longer use, the connection is still available on your phone and takes just a tap to renew.

As a result, it’s a good idea to remove old connections to devices you are no longer using. On Android, head to Settings -> Connected devices. Tap on one of the saved devices, and select Forget.

Forgetting Bluetooth connection with device on Android.

On iPhone, go to Settings -> Bluetooth, and tap on the small i button next to the device you want to remove. Next, press on Forget This Device.

 Click on

Do the same on Windows or Mac devices by accessing the computer’s Bluetooth settings.

Tip: you can use the Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker.

5. Keep Your Device’s Software Up to Date

To ensure that you don’t become a victim of Bluetooth attacks, you must remember to always update the software on your device.

On Android, head to Settings -> System -> System update, and check whether there are any new updates to install.

Tapping on

On an iOS device, check Settings -> General -> Software update.

Tap on

Also check for OS updates if you’re using a computer. For headphones or other devices, you may need to update their specific firmware.

How Secure Is Bluetooth?

While Bluetooth is generally safe, it does have occasional flaws. Once you feel safe with your level of security, if you experience that annoying Bluetooth audio delay on Windows, we can help!

Image credit: Freepik & Flaticon. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox

Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

مقالات ذات صلة

اترك تعليقاً

لن يتم نشر عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني. الحقول الإلزامية مشار إليها بـ *

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى