Why You NEED To Turn Off Bluetooth When You Aren't Using It

There's feature we ALL have when we carry around smart phones that's putting us at serious risk- Bluetooth. WIRED warns that turning off your Bluetooth when not in use is almost as important as locking your doors when you leave the house.

Minimizing your Bluetooth usage minimizes your exposure to very real vulnerabilities. That includes an attack called BlueBorne, announced this week by the security firm Armis, which would allow any affected device with Bluetooth turned on to be attacked through a series of vulnerabilities. The flaws aren't in the Bluetooth standard itself, but in its implementation in all sorts of software. Windows, Android, Linux, and iOS have been vulnerable to BlueBorne in the past. Millions could still be at risk.

Armis warns that a BlueBorne- attacked device leaves all personal data as well as any attached network or devices open to hacking. 

Here's how the company says you can protect your devices for now:

Android

All Android phones and tablets are vulnerable, with the exception of devices using Bluetooth Low Energy.

How to fix: Update your Android with Google's latest security patch, which was open to Android partners last month and is part of September's Security Update and Bulletin. Ensure that you have the most recent Security Patch Level, which was released earlier this month.

Windows

All Windows computers since Windows Vista could be affected.

How to fix: Update Windows devices with Microsoft's latest security patches, which were issued in July.

Linux

All Linux devices using BlueZ could be impacted, including Samsung's Gear S3 smartwatch, its Family Hub refrigerator, and its line of smart televisions.

How to fix: The latest Linux patches can be found here.

iOS

BlueBorne can affect all iPhones, iPads and iPods running iOS 9.3.5 or lower, and all Apple TVs running iOS 7.2.2 or lower.

How to fix: Make sure your device is running iOS 10, which was released in July.

If your device hasn't been updated, the easiest way to avoid BlueBorne is to disable its Bluetooth and use it as little as possible. 

Protect yourself. Swipe up and turn off Bluetooth.

Posted by WIRED on Saturday, September 16, 2017

Photo via Getty Images

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