Well, you can use it, but you have to be careful.

Did you know that by connecting your phone to a car via Bluetooth, the car’s system saves all of your addresses, text messages, internet search history and account information, like bank transactions? That’s right. When you sync these devices, you are giving complete access to your phone through the car’s system.

While it’s convenient and safer to use a Bluetooth while driving, it’s vital that you delete your stored data in rental cars or when you get rid of your car. You can do this easily by removing your mobile phone from the “paired phones” list.

In addition, when you leave your Bluetooth on, you could be projecting your information to any device nearby, especially older devices that don’t have the latest updates and patches. Avoid using Bluetooth 1.X, 2.0 or 4.0 – LE. Protect yourself by turning them off when not in use.

Hackers have developed directional high-gain antennas that can receive signals at greater ranges. So, while you think you are safe, a hacker in the vicinity may be “listening” in.

Hackers are also great at eavesdropping through your Bluetooth headset’s transmission. These mobile bugging devices can be blocked by powering off your Bluetooth device and using a complex PIN.

Finally, phone jackers are skilled at breaking into your phone to hear your conversations and steal valuable personal information or installing malicious software to hack into your accounts, for example your bank account.

So Now What?

Don’t despair. Remember:

• Always power off your Bluetooth when you aren’t using it.

• Always clear the device from rental cars and cars you are selling.

• Use complex PIN codes.

Being diligent is your best defense. We live in a world where scammers and hackers are everywhere. Follow these tips and you’ll be ahead of the curve.

Want more information? Contact one of our Certified Fraud Examiners, Edward Schmitz or Betsy Rice or complete the form below.

*Information for this blog was taken from the article “Avoid the ‘Blue’ in Bluetooth,” written by Robert E. Holtfreter in the September/October 2018 issue of Fraud Magazine.

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