Three good reasons to turn off the Bluetooth of the mobile when you are not using it

There are two types of people, those who turn Wi-Fi, data and Bluetooth on and off as soon as they don’t need them and those who leave them all on and whatever God wants. If you’re in the latter group, turning off your phone’s Bluetooth when you’re not using it can bring you some benefits.

Turning off Bluetooth when you are no longer using it takes just a couple of seconds and a touch and by doing so you will have three main advantages in terms of security, privacy and a little extra battery.

It is an open security front

There is no foolproof way to protect a mobile from threats, as there are many moving parts in hardware and software. The only thing we can do is reduce the area of ​​attack and obviously Bluetooth connectivity can be the entry point for malware. Not so much the technology itself, which took a significant leap in security starting with Bluetooth version 2.1 in 2007, but the Bluetooth firmware and drivers.

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology said in a report on Bluetooth in 2007 that it was a technology “susceptible to denial-of-service attacks, eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks , message modification, and resource misappropriation.” It has rained since then, but even so, Bluetooth full-spectrum vulnerabilities have periodically appeared, which have affected the implementation in Android mobiles, as is the case of BlueBorne , from 2017.

BlueBorne allowed, at least in theory, to access the device remotely and had the ability to spread from Bluetooth to Bluetooth, and it would not be the last recent vulnerability. In 2018 another potential vulnerability appeared . A year later, the same story with KNOB, which made it possible to “decrypt the spied ciphertext and inject valid encrypted messages.”

We haven’t come across Bluetooth vulnerabilities in a long time, but they don’t exist or will appear in the near future. Realistically, this isn’t to say you should run away from Bluetooth, but at least when you’re not using it it might be a good idea to leave it off, thus covering up a potential attack front .

It also affects your privacy

The most obvious way for this to happen is when the device is visible and showing itself to all nearby devices, although thankfully this is becoming less and less common. Most Android mobiles are not visible when Bluetooth is active or stop being visible after a certain period of inactivity.

However, it is not the only way. Researchers at the University of California discovered that it was possible to identify a device based on small variations in the strength of the Bluetooth BLE signal, creating a kind of “fingerprint” of the device. With this method, it was possible to identify a mobile with 95% efficiency , with the only need for Bluetooth to be active in the background, which is common today.

Let’s not forget the battery

In the old days, when mobile phones had 512 MB of RAM, a tiny battery and a processor little more powerful than a potato, it was common to disable practically everything to save battery life. Nowadays the batteries are of greater capacity and the mobiles are much more powerful, so most of the battery goes to us in games, demanding applications and in keeping the screen on.

This does not mean that Bluetooth does not consume battery. It does not consume a lot of battery when we put it in perspective, but it consumes, it consumes and it is most likely that it is responsible for at least 1% of the consumption, more if your mobile does not support the efficient Bluetooth BLE or if it has been working harder than expected. usual.

If you are not using Bluetooth, maybe you can save an extra 1% of battery life by turning it off . It’s not much, but less gives a stone and in theory you don’t lose anything except pressing the button to turn it off.

A safety tip: disable Chrome autocomplete on your mobile

Internet browsers have been evolving for years to make our browsing more comfortable, and our experience of using the different websites more enjoyable. But not all of these functions are equally secure and it seems that the frequently recurring option to autocomplete forms has weak points despite the security efforts of companies such as Google, responsible for the highly expanded Google Chrome.

It seems that even if the web pages have the HTTPs security certificate installed, and even if Chrome itself hides all the autocomplete data behind different protections, at the time of the exchange we can reveal more information than we think . And maybe the one we would like. The process is not entirely secure so nothing would happen if we deactivated it.

How they can violate the security of your browser’s autocomplete

As they tell from GHacks, the autocomplete option that browsers incorporate, and Chrome is the most widespread of all Android and part of iOS, can be a privacy and security problem . Despite the fact that the web in question incorporates HTTPs security certificates, and even despite the fact that Chrome itself allows you to hide the autocomplete data behind your fingerprint or another system.

The problem occurs when a malicious web programmer does not show you on the web all the data that it is going to request during the autocomplete. It is possible that on the web you will see that you are asked for your email address, your password (it is encrypted, there should be no problem here) or some of your personal data. Even your card data, which is also encrypted. But there may be more hidden information.

We are not talking about hidden as such, because the browser would detect it, but about showing this data but keeping it out of the visible page. The one you have in front of your eyes while asking Chrome to autocomplete the fields. There, the developer can include personal data that does not make sense to request the website you visit. And in the vast majority of cases, if we deliver this data we are not even aware that we are doing it.

We have focused on Chrome because from GHacks they tell us that this sending of “hidden” data does not seem to occur in Firefox but it does in Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers, such as Brave and others that circulate in the Android world. So, at this point we cannot do anything other than recommend that you deactivate this autocomplete , because that way we will have to fill in each field by hand and, therefore, we will not fill in the hidden data. Data that is not marked as “mandatory” so as not to give away, of course.

Disabling the autocomplete option in Chrome

This autocomplete system is usually activated by default on our Android, so that every time we fill out a form for the first time, the system offers us to save that data so as not to repeat the process in the future. There we can choose, naturally, that we do not want it to save the data , but what we will show you here is how to deactivate this system so that it does not bother you anymore.

To deactivate the autocomplete of Chrome we have to go to the settings of our browser. But let’s do it right, we’ll show you step by step:

  • Open Chrome and click on the three vertical buttons at the top right.
  • Go to ‘Settings’.
  • Then we enter ‘Passwords’.
  • We deactivate the field ‘Save passwords’.
  • We deactivated the field ‘Log me in automatically’.
Disabling password saving
  • Now click on the back button to return to the previous menu.
  • We now access ‘Payment methods’.
  • Here we deactivate ‘Save and autocomplete payment methods’.
Disabling payment method saving
  • Again, we press the back button to return to the previous menu.
  • We now access ‘Addresses and more’.
  • Here we deactivate ‘Save and autocomplete addresses’.
Disabling address saving

We’ve already disabled Chrome from saving sensitive data like passwords, addresses, and payment methods. The last step is to delete the data that you may already have stored , just in case. To do this we doing the next:

  • Open Chrome and click on the three vertical buttons at the top right.
  • Go to ‘Settings’.
  • Go to ‘Privacy and security’.
  • Now click on ‘Clear browsing data’.
  • We go to the second tab, the ‘Advanced settings’
  • We select ‘Since always’ at the top where the time is indicated.
  • We mark ‘Saved passwords’ and ‘Data to autocomplete forms’.
  • Click on ‘Delete Data’ and confirm if requested.

ready. Google Chrome’s autofill option is disabled and any data saved so far has been deleted. Now our navigation is a little more secure, although from now on we have to re-enter each data in each online form that requests it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.