It’s good to remain wary of where your mobile data goes — especially when you’re connecting your phone to third party devices.
A perfect example of this is the somewhat alarming security issue found in something as common as a rental car. If you’ve ever rented a car before, you might recall that many allow you to connect your mobile device to the car’s hands-free system via Bluetooth. This makes it possible for the driver to listen to music, hear directions, and even send and receive calls.
But the rental car may actually be doing more than just streaming smartphone audio.
The problem is that car audio systems that use Bluetooth often store phone data automatically once the device is connected. This data includes the smartphone’s phone number, call logs, and even some contacts the user may have recently dialed, according to a recent USA Today report.
In fact, without too much effort users can see a list of all the prior devices that connected to the machine. A YouTube video from 2013 shows someone doing just that.
According to USA Today, cars routinely store this data, making it potentially a breeze for someone with some technical know-how to hack into the car and then learn a whole lot more about previous drivers.
Luckily, there is a way to stop this from happening. All drivers have to do is delete the smartphone from the in-car device. They can do this by going to settings in the car’s display.
This one example brings about a greater lesson about mobile device security: Users should be aware of what their phones are connecting to and any potential data that the device is storing. While Bluetooth does make things more convenient, it’s also been known to be an easy way for hackers to attack.
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