Bluetooth connectivity can expose you to numerous security risks if you’ve not taken steps to prevent unauthorized access to your devices.
Keep reading for detailed info that you need to enhance the security of your Bluetooth speakers and how to prevent unauthorized access to Bluetooth speakers.
There are simple steps you can take to prevent unauthorized access to Bluetooth speakers including using a security code, turning Bluetooth off when not in use, set Bluetooth to undiscoverable, pair in private, use an audio jack, or install security updates.
How Bluetooth Speaker Hacking Works
Hackers access your Bluetooth speaker by:
- Exploiting the flaws in the speaker’s configuration or software
- Using stolen passwords, security codes, and usernames
Once hackers access your Bluetooth speaker, they can connect their own audio sources and do whatever else they want with the information they find. It can be rather annoying and a colossal waste of time.
Proven Ways to Prevent Unauthorized Access to Bluetooth Speakers
Bluetooth speakers are quite useful – the size, quality of sound, and wireless connectivity make these speakers portable, convenient to use, and efficient.
So, security concerns can often limit your experience. Here are reliable ways to prevent unauthorized access to Bluetooth speakers:
1. Use Security Code
Modern Bluetooth speakers have advanced security features, including security codes that limit Bluetooth pairing.
For anyone to be able to access your speaker, they must have your code. If you keep the code secured, you can prevent unauthorized access without spending any money.
If your device uses a security code and others have access to it, in some cases the security pin can be changed, check the manual. However, most Bluetooth speakers I’ve seen use a default code like 0000 or 1234, and don’t allow it to be changed.
2. Turn Bluetooth Off
Please remember that keeping the Bluetooth active allows hackers and criminals to discover other devices you paired it with before. If they successfully spoof the devices, they can find your login details and access your speaker.
Turning Bluetooth off when you are not using the speaker can solve this security issue. However, some hackers can access your Bluetooth speakers even when it is not connected to another device.
Others can also access a speaker that has been turned off (not active). So, after turning it off, you need to set the speaker to undiscoverable.
In fact, for initial pairing, some Bluetooth speakers require a physical button to be pressed to switch to discovery mode. In this case, the speaker will not allow just anyone to pair with it without physical access which is great for security.
3. Set Your Bluetooth Speaker to Undiscoverable
Some Bluetooth speakers automatically enter pairing mode and become discoverable by other devices when turned on, and have no discrete Bluetooth button.
This will increase the time you require for pairing with other devices. Nonetheless, it is effective at protecting your Bluetooth speaker from strangers with ill motives.
Other Bluetooth speakers allow you to toggle their visibility in the settings. Check the Bluetooth settings, make sure the Bluetooth of your device invisible. This ensures that nobody sees your device’s Bluetooth to connect to even though the device is on.
In addition, whenever there are notifications of new devices trying to connect with your speaker, make sure you decline the request.
4. Unpair Bluetooth Speakers from Others’ Devices
Once you pair your speaker with a device, you give hackers who access some of your private data.
For example, if you connect your speaker to a rental car, its data may be shared with the vehicle.
To be safe, you should unpair the speaker and clear any personal data before returning the car. If you are selling a car that has Bluetooth, you should follow the same procedure.
5. Keep Bluetooth Off When Not In Use
When your speakers are not in use, turn them off. It is that simple, common sense, yet many people keep Bluetooth on, exposed to hackers.
Remember, once someone pairs with your device, that can last for days. many Bluetooth speakers will store a Bluetooth profile indefinitely.
You can either try to erase the Bluetooth profiles or if you are using a small portable Bluetooth speaker, just bring it with you on the road and when it is out of range of the hacker’s device, delete the profiles.
6. Pair in Private
Your Bluetooth speaker is most vulnerable when it is in pairing mode. This is the moment it is actively searching for other compatible devices. Eavesdroppers understand the risk and can gain access at these moments.
The perfect remedy is to avoid pairing your Bluetooth speaker in crowded places such as train stations and coffee shops.
Besides moving away from public settings, you should keep track of all your connections and reject all unknown pairing requests.
7. Install Software Updates
Bluetooth speaker’s security issues sometimes originate from loopholes in the application. The manufacturers continuously evaluate the security of their products and release advanced versions to mitigate the potentials risks.
Continuously check for updates to your Bluetooth app and be sure to install it as soon as possible. This way, your app may have advanced features that protect your speaker.
You can achieve more if you can pair your speaker with secure devices using a secure application and more secure Bluetooth connection.
8. Use an Audio Jack
This is a simple option that is worth a try. It doesn’t involve a lot of work. Many Bluetooth speakers are designed to prioritize wired connection over wireless.
They will not allow any device to pair with them when they are connected with an audio jack through AUX. There are many Bluetooth speakers that use AUX or audio jack connections.
You can find an old-headphone that you no longer use and cut the audio jack. You can even use a microphone splitter as well. Stick into the speaker, and that should be enough to stop wireless connectivity.
Before you try this method, test it with a friend to ensure your Bluetooth speaker prioritizes wired connectivity.
Why Prevent Unauthorized Access To Bluetooth Speakers
We prevent unauthorized access to Bluetooth speakers because Bluetooth is not secure and having unauthorized access to our speakers is quite annoying.
Hackers have varied reasons for breaking through speakers’ network security. Hackers can cause psychological and physical damage, depending on their motives, access level, and data gathered.
Let’s see the specific negative consequences of unauthorized speaker access so we can see why we should prevent unauthorized access.
Businesses lose millions of dollars every year due to hacking. For example, in 2011, Sony lost close to $ 200 million when criminals hacked their PlayStation system.
Now you may say you won’t have major resulting from Bluetooth speaker hacking. However, let’s take an example. Let’s say you are hosting an event like a small wedding, baby shower, or something like that.
Maybe you are using a large Bluetooth speaker or a home theater system that connects via Bluetooth. Now, if someone has access to your speakers, they can play any unwanted audio and ruin your event.
Decreased Privacy and Embarrassment
If hackers access your speaker, they can see everything that you listen to and watch. Moreover, they can find all information on your personal, financial, and professional life, depending on access level.
Moreover, unscrupulous people can choose to play nefarious audio through your Bluetooth speaker and embarrass you.
If hackers use your speaker as a point of access to your business system, you could suffer severe reputation damage.
For example, if you have some sort of businesses in the audio industry, being compromised multiple times, your customers will stop trusting you with their personal information.
You could lose business if you don’t use tried-and-tested strategies to eliminate unauthorized access.
Bluetooth connectivity can expose your speaker to numerous security risks, especially if you choose not to follow the basic tips above.
With simple acts like using the correct security code, turning the connectivity off, and installing updates, you can prevent unauthorized access and improve your experience.