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Experts highlight the dangers of Bluetooth hacking while traveling – WSOC TV | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

CHARLOTTE — As we head into the busy holiday travel season, experts are issuing warnings about information security.

Around 100,000 people travel through Charlotte Douglas Airport each day, and most of them are walking around with cellphones.

Consumer Advisor Clark Howard explains how not keeping your devices updated or upgraded could leave your personal information vulnerable.

Everywhere we go, we have our smartphones with us, and we may have our laptops as well, and you wouldn’t believe how that leaves our lives open to being exploited.

With phones, computers, speakers, and headphones, we are more connected than ever before. That means criminals are more connected to our personal data.

“You know it’s so incredibly convenient to have a Bluetooth connection, but it comes with risks,” Bluetooth user George Latzanich said.

“This kind of technology today? It’s easy to hack things,” cellphone user Alex Wade.

Consumer producer Leah Dunn met up with cybersecurity researcher William McDonald at the busiest airport in the world to test its security.

“We’ve had this open for about 5 minutes, and we’ve got 570 entries so far of devices that have come within range of the laptop as people pass by through the airport,” McDonald said.

McDonald said not only could he find devices, but he could also tell which ones were being used.

“You can see some of these devices where we have these little tick marks that are constant. Transmitting data somehow back and forth between devices,” McDonald explained.

This means that if the device is vulnerable, that data is up for grabs.

“They don’t even realize that they’re vulnerable because they have a device, say, here, maybe an old iPhone, like an old iPhone 4 or iPhone SE. Those sorts of devices are out of date,” McDonald said.

The solution is simple: keep your devices updated. If your provider doesn’t have an update available, you may need to upgrade your device.

McDonald said that when it comes to phones, most exploits are short-term. The best solution is to turn your phone off.

“Then pay attention to what’s going on your phone. If something seems suspicious, if something strange is happening, that may be an indication that you need to check your security settings and check your phone,” McDonald explained.

The same applies to Bluetooth devices you may have around the house.

“If they’re not being updated or are nearing the end of their life and you can’t update them, then upgrade and get the next model; get a different model so that you can actually update those devices and prevent some of the vulnerabilities,” McDonald said.

McDonald said if you are worried, there are things you can do.

You can turn Bluetooth off on your cellphone and make sure it’s off on your laptop or any electronic device.

If you don’t need Bluetooth, don’t use it.

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