How to Prevent Bluebugging

by Contributor

Everywhere you go, people are using their smart phones. They're surfing the Internet, checking their email, or maybe just making good old-fashioned phone calls. As the number of smart phones increases, so does the number of smart-phone attacks. Bluebugging, one form of smart-phone attack, can be very harmful to your phone and even compromise your security. Read on to learn how to prevent bluebugging.

Understand what bluebugging is. The term describes attacks on phones that use the popular Bluetooth wireless technology. When a hacker successfully bluebugs your phone, he can access your Internet connection, make calls from your phone number, listen in on your conversations and change entries in your calendar and contact list.

Know where bluebugging occurs. Bluebuggers can only hack your smart phone from within a 30-foot radius, so bluebugging takes place most often in public places like subways, coffee shops and parks.

Conduct an Internet search for phone makes and models that are particularly susceptible to bluebugging. This way, you can know if your smart phone is at risk. The older a phone's Bluetooth technology is, the easier the phone is to bluebug.

Contact your phone's manufacturer if you are concerned about bluebugging. Several major cell-phone companies, including Nokia and Ericsson, have developed software "patches" that make it difficult for bluebuggers to hack into these older-model phones.

Turn off your phone's Bluetooth capability when you aren't using it. Bluebuggers can only make a connection when Bluetooth is enabled.

Scan all incoming multimedia messages and electronic business cards for viruses. Bluebuggers often gain access to your phone by relaying such information to you.

Tip

  • check Take advantage of the fact that no hacker can bluebug a phone beyond 30 feet. Move to a remote area, if possible, when using your phone's Bluetooth capabilities.

Warnings

  • close Never hand your phone over to a stranger. Many bluebuggers will try to flatter you, saying, "That's a really cool phone--can I see it?" Bluebuggers can hack your phone with just a few keystrokes.
  • close Don't underestimate the dangers of bluebugging. Once she has your contact information and can spoof your caller ID, a bluebugger can activate a credit card in your name, compromise your business relationships by listening in on private conversations or even make prank 911 calls.