Bluetooth Eavesdropping: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself from It

Remember how your little brother was always lurking just around the corner, straining to hear what you and your friends were saying? Well, I have some bad news. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse. With Bluetooth eavesdropping, invasion of privacy has morphed into snooping on steroids. Now, hackers can actually listen in on your conversations by gaining access to your Bluetooth devices such as your cellphone or your car audio system.

So, how do you keep yourself safe from these unauthorized infiltrations? Here are a few things you can do to safeguard your Bluetooth devices:

As with all your passwords, make certain that your pin is a strong one. Believe it or not, many Bluetooth devices come with default pins, such as “0000”, which are ludicrously easy to hack. Instead, update your pin to your own, safer, at least eight character mix of symbols, numbers and upper and lowercase letters.

Also, as with dating, just remember that pairing can be much better in private. Your Bluetooth devices are most vulnerable when they are actively searching to pair, so try to avoid public spaces whenever you are trying to pair your Bluetooth devices. In this same vein, never accept a pairing request from an unknown source.

One of the most effective ways to prevent Bluetooth eavesdropping is by changing your Bluetooth mode to “undiscoverable”. This can be a bit cumbersome because it will take longer to connect each time, but the pain of preventing access to your Bluetooth device may well be worth the gain.

Finally, you want to keep in mind that software is not without its limitations and software manufacturers are constantly on the hunt for hack-proof products. Installing new software whenever you are prompted will help thwart any hacking attempts by ensuring that you have the latest, most secure version of software available.