Ah, the convenience of having everything automated in our times is genuinely golden. However, one of the things that drive me absolutely crazy is Bluetooth powering on within my phone without my knowledge. It automatically powers on when it senses "known and friendly" devices like my car's navigation system or as I walk by our speakers in the living room. Yes, convenient but unsafe because it remains powered on until I happen to remember to check and turn it off.

Generally, Bluetooth is a reasonably secure technology that allows devices to communicate with each other without cables or wires, typically for short ranges (in some cases up to 328 ft). It is used to connect your phone or computer to your headphones, speakers, keyboard, mouse, printers, game controllers, kids toys, intelligent and smart home appliances, car systems, and many other devices. When you turn Bluetooth on, it scans the area for other Bluetooth devices in range that are open for connection. Once your device finds other devices to connect to it lists them, and you can select the one you need. Once the two devices recognize each other, they "pair" and exchange information between them without a WiFi connection. For the most part, that’s all there is to it. You basically decide what content is exchanged and can typically give permissions to your device on what to send or receive.

Now, the part of being aware of comes here… when in public places or smaller enclosed areas as apartments, hotel rooms, cars, etc. practically anyone around you can also connect to your device. Some of these can be bad guys that can easily transmit infected code (viruses) to your device without your knowledge. This code can send unsolicited messages to your phone to take over your device and even corrupt, compromise, delete or steal your data.

To power off Bluetooth just go to your settings on your phone, and you will typically find the option there. To avoid your devices turning on automatically when they detect a nearby device to connect to you could delete your current connections and later re-connect them as needed. If this process becomes annoying, you can write yourself a reminder to check often and turn it off. Also, make sure you delete connections to devices that you know you won't use again.

You also may get in the habit of being aware of your environment when using Bluetooth and be extra careful in connecting only to devices you recognize. Only send information to people you know, primarily via AirDrop and similar document-sharing services. Lastly, if your device gives you the option to password protect it, definitely always do so.