Wifi, Bluetooth, and Your Empty Bank Account, Oh My!

Wifi, Bluetooth, and Your Empty Bank Account, Oh My!

In this age of technology, we are all connected, connecting or about to connect to something. The need to go online and keep up with the latest information is second nature to us. In fact, it’s not even a question that we need to be connected as soon as some tragedy happens.

Everyone knows how to secure our wallets or make sure our pocketbooks aren’t left behind. We need to instill the same safety measures when it comes to our technology.Our communication devices:  iPhone, Android, tablets, and even laptops are open conduits we need to secure as well.

We’ve all heard the stories of how a person’s phone was hacked. The phone companies assure us they’ve installed the latest patch to stop those who mean you ill will. While it’s comforting to hear our network providers are trying to assist we also have to take an active part in our own security.

Q: How does anyone even get into my device?  I've locked it!

A:  To understand how this happens we’ll have to introduce some vocabulary along the way.  This is the scenario.  You leave your home and go out. You could be going anywhere work, shopping, meeting friends or errands. Somewhere along the way, you’ll have downtime, and of course, you need to go online to check out what you’ve missed in the last 30 minutes. To do that you need to make sure your wifi and/or Bluetooth is on. As soon as you do that your device starts looking for a hookup, otherwise known as a wireless access point (WAP). When it finds it, you’ll go through your daily motions of getting connected to the world again.  When you’re done, you’ll close your device and go on with the rest of your day.

Unfortunately, while you will be done communicating, your device isn’t on the same page.  When you move out of range of free WIFI or any time after you’ve been online until you turn your wifi and Bluetooth off, your phone is sending out requests to hook up with a WAP.

In comes a person with malicious intent. They walk around and turn on their communication device and allow your machine to hook up to it. At that point, the person has access to your information. If you have a strong password on your device, this may deter the person, but generally, we don’t concern ourselves with the wireless hotspot settings on our devices.

The best defense is to turn off your wife and Bluetooth.

It may seem like a hassle but compare it to the possible losses you could suffer if someone had access to all the information on your phone, laptop or Computer.

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