Do you know how many devices are connected to your phone right now?
Did you know that another device can connect to your phone- without your permission?
Are you aware of how much harm that can cause you?
I bet you just checked your phone.
Everyone’s well aware of how much smartphones are now ingrained in our hectic daily lives.
Aside from the basics such as messaging and calling, we also use them to take photos, store documents, and even process hefty financial transactions.
You can just imagine how much of your private data is on your phone with all of these activities!
Now, also picture what can happen when other devices have access to all this information because they are connected to your phone?
Indeed, we cannot be too careful about what and who has access to our phones.
If you’re now wondering, “Just how many devices are connected to my phone?” Sit tight, because we’re about to dive right in!
Devices can gain access to your phone via Bluetooth, WiFi, or a Sync function if there is one active on any of your accounts.
As much as some newer security protocols alert you to a new device signing in, sometimes it can occur without your knowledge due to specific settings on your phone.
For example, if your Bluetooth is on and in discoverable mode, another device can link to yours. However, this can only happen if they are within range.
With a Bluetooth connection, people can send you messages and track your movements.
Suppose your phone is currently running as a hotspot; any phone nearby can connect to your network if it’s unsecured. The hotspot connection will allow them to use your phone’s data easily.
Lastly, we all know that syncing your email, social media, and Google account makes life easier.
However, you should always know which devices have access to your accounts.
For example, if your PC at work has access to your Google account, anyone using the computer will be able to access it as well.
Therefore, you must be clearly aware of the security settings of each of these features! In addition, it’s important to be able to identify trusted devices and those which are potential threats.
To check the devices connected to your phone’s Bluetooth:
- Go to ‘Settings.’
- Select ‘Bluetooth’ and ensure that it is active.
- The page will show a list of paired devices.
- You can alter the permissions or unpair unknown devices.
If you use your phone as a mobile hotspot, you can manage the devices that have access to it. To do this:
- Go to Settings and select Connections
- Select Mobile Hotspot and Tethering
- You can then view the connected devices
- You can also set up a password so that only people with the password can connect to your Wifi
To check the devices linked to your Google account:
- Open Settings and select Google
- Go to Security
- Find the panel with the name, ‘Your Devices’
- Select Manage all devices
You will be able to identify all the devices connected to your phone by following these steps.
Eliminate those you do not know or no longer use, and take full control over the permissions you allow other devices!
If the other devices connected to your phone belong to you and no one else has access to them, chances are nothing is going to happen to your phone.
However, if there are unknown devices or multiple people that have access to your phone, you may experience some problems.
Firstly, from a security perspective, if you leave your Bluetooth and WiFi hotspot on all the time, your phone can easily be targeted by hackers.
If hackers can access your phone via Bluetooth, they can send malicious files to your phone, steal your data, or even spy on your activities!
Secondly, if you use your phone as a mobile hotspot and others gain access, they will be able to use your internet.
Although they won’t be able to tamper with the phone itself, they can make use of your credentials. Therefore, if they were to send out an offensive message on the internet, it could look like you did it.
Lastly, your Google account may be vulnerable if unknown devices connect to it as people may be able to go through your documents, photos and other sensitive data on your Drive.
It’s vital that you remember to log out of your Google account when using a device that’s not your own, as it’s the safest way to stop the device from being able to access your account.
Only activate your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi hotspot when necessary. When you are done using the functions, switch them off to stay on the safe side.
Finally, ensure that you activate a password and allow only people you trust to have access to either connection! You can always change it to a new one as well.
The easiest way to block devices from connecting to your phone is to switch off your Bluetooth and mobile hotspot tethering when not in use.
If you use them often, you can stop devices from connecting to your phone by managing the settings properly.
Only those with a password should be able to connect if you set a password for Bluetooth and hotspot.
You can also remove devices you don’t know when checking for paired devices with your phone. Two-factor authentication is worth a try, too, especially for Google accounts.
Now that you know the answer to ‘How many devices are connected to my phone?’, you can be more careful about your phone’s pairings.
It may be simpler to remain logged in to multiple devices, but by doing so you could be leaving yourself open to opportunists or scammers.
Although people are just looking for a free internet connection most of the time, you never know when a more sinister attack may occur!
It is therefore worth doing a regular check on your phone to know how many devices are connected to it. Limiting access with a password works well too.
It’s better to be safe than to be caught unaware, after all!