Wireless speakers that connect through Bluetooth technology are very common these days. That comes as no surprise as they offer plenty of conveniences. Unfortunately, being wireless also means that other people can gain unauthorized access and use them without your permission.
To prevent unauthorized access to your Bluetooth speakers, always use the security code feature and disable their visibility. Shut the speakers off when you’re not using them, too, so that no one can pair their audio device to them when you’re not around. Lastly, invest in speakers with customizable security codes and a navigable menu. Both features will give you more control over its security.
Let’s start off by looking at why it’s critical to prevent unauthorized access to your Bluetooth speakers. Then, we’ll examine the steps you can take and how each one benefits you.
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Why Prevent Unauthorized Access To Bluetooth Speakers
At first, it might not seem like such a big deal to have someone access your Bluetooth speakers without your permission. Sure, it would be pretty annoying to have them ‘hijacked’ by another device while you’re trying to listen to your music. However, preventing unauthorized access to your speakers is critical for more than just that reason.
Frustration and Potential Embarrassment
As you might expect, having someone else access your Bluetooth speakers can be pretty frustrating. These types of speakers can only connect to one audio source at a time, so you’ll have a tough time playing your music if someone else is occupying that connection.
Worse still, that issue can become an embarrassment if you’re using the speakers in a public setting with many people.
For instance, let’s suppose you’re using Bluetooth speakers to play music at a family birthday celebration. If you’re in charge of the music, but someone else is playing their playlist, that could reflect poorly on you and affect the party’s mood.
Eavesdropping and Privacy Violations
Next, it’s crucial to remember that plenty of Bluetooth speakers these days come with built-in microphones. That can lead to a massive violation of your privacy, as an unauthorized user could use it to eavesdrop on whatever is being said in the room.
So, for these reasons and many more, you should be mindful of how you use your Bluetooth speakers and take precautions to protect them.
How To Protect Your Bluetooth Speakers
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your speakers and improve your overall user experience.
Here are a few practical ideas for you to use:
Use The Security Code
How to do this: Many Bluetooth speakers on the market these days offer a specific safety feature in the form of a security code. Simply put, this code ensures that only those who have it are allowed to pair and connect their device to those speakers.
Depending on your speaker brand and model, the security code might be pre-set and enabled by default. If that’s the case, you must keep the code a secret so other people can’t use it.
Next, if your device allows you to customize the Bluetooth security code, you should do so. Avoid using the default code and come up with your own so that no one can guess what the code might be.
How this helps: By using the security code or passkey for your Bluetooth speakers, you’ll effectively limit who can use them. If you’re the only one who has that code, you’ll also be the only one who can pair and connect it to your device at any time.
On top of that, having the option to customize your security code also means that you can change it from time to time. Doing this will protect your speakers against unauthorized access even more.
Turn Off Its Visibility/Discoverability
How to do this: Bluetooth speakers must first be visible (or ‘discoverable’) for any audio source to connect to them. When visibility is turned on, your audio device (e.g. your smartphone) will be able to detect the speakers, and they’ll appear on the list of Bluetooth devices you can connect to.
The same is true for everyone else in range. When visible, other people, too, can see your speakers on their smartphones and attempt to connect to them. That’s why an excellent way to prevent that from happening is to disable visibility altogether.
Of course, you should only do this after you have connected your speakers to your intended audio source. But, don’t worry; if you need to pair your speakers with more devices later, you can always turn visibility back on temporarily.
How this helps: One of the benefits of Bluetooth speakers is that people can only connect to them if they’re within range, which is approximately 30 feet. Still, with visibility turned off, even a person standing right next to your speakers won’t be able to connect to them at all.
Turn Off When Not In Use
How to do this: Turning off your Bluetooth headphones when they’re not in use might sound like a simplistic piece of advice, but it’s very crucial. You see, Bluetooth speakers tend to have an auto-shutoff function. That means they’ll shut themselves off to save power after a few minutes of not playing any sound.
Image source: https://tomstek.us/jbl-xtreme-reset-instructions/
Suppose you rely on this auto-shutoff feature instead of turning it off manually. If that’s the case, then you are leaving your speakers vulnerable whenever you do that.
How this helps: Remember: Bluetooth speakers can only connect and play audio from one device at a time. So, if the speakers are still on after you’ve left the room, that will leave it exposed for unauthorized users to connect to it.
By shutting your speakers off manually whenever you’re not using them, you can prevent this from happening altogether.
Remove Unauthorized Pairings
How to do this: Before any audio device can connect to your Bluetooth speaker, it must first pair with it. Pairing is a way for the audio device to ‘register’ itself with the speaker, allowing it to connect anytime it wants to.
If you’re already experiencing problems with someone connecting to your Bluetooth speaker without permission, that means their device is already paired with it somehow.
So, to prevent them from doing that again in the future, you can remove the pairing between your speaker and their device (e.g. their smartphone or laptop).
This task is very straightforward to do if your Bluetooth speakers have a menu you can access. From there, the Bluetooth menu will have a list of paired devices. Simply delete the ones that you do not want to authorize, and that will remove the pairing. As a result, they can no longer connect to your speaker.
However, if your Bluetooth speakers are the type without any navigation menu, you will have to perform a full reset instead. We will discuss how to do that in the next section.
How this helps: By removing unauthorized pairings, you’re taking away the ability of those devices to connect to your speakers. Regularly checking the list of paired devices will also help prevent this issue from repeating itself.
After you’ve completed this step, follow the other tips on this list to prevent those devices from pairing with your speakers again.
Perform A Reset (To Remove All Pairings)
How to do this: Many Bluetooth speakers do not have a menu that you can navigate to remove unauthorized pairings. So, the only way to deny access to unauthorized devices is to perform a full reset on your speakers.
The precise method for resetting your Bluetooth speakers will depend on the exact brand and model. Typically, though, there are two methods of doing this.
Firstly, some speakers have a reset pinhole. That is a small reset button that is hidden in a pinhole on the device somewhere. Once you find it, you can only push with a paperclip, toothpick, or anything small enough to fit the pinhole.
Secondly, you can reset most Bluetooth speaker models by pressing and holding a combination of two or more buttons for a few seconds. But, again, the precise buttons that you’ll need to press will differ between brands and models.
For example, some brands require you to press and hold the Power and Bluetooth buttons, or the Volume and Source knobs. To know what applies to your Bluetooth speakers, check its user manual.
How this helps: You will also remove all of its pairings with audio devices by performing a full reset (sometimes called a ‘factory reset’). So another way of looking at it is that you’re giving your speakers a fresh start.
Once that’s done, you can pair your authorized audio devices to the speakers again. Then, follow the other steps on this list to protect it against future unauthorized users.
Upgrade To Better Bluetooth Speakers
How to do this: If you love using your Bluetooth speakers and you’re concerned about unauthorized access, the best thing you can do is invest in more secure speakers.
As you’ve seen through the points we explored above, the security on some Bluetooth speakers is easier to manage than on others.
For instance, buying Bluetooth speakers with a customizable security code will do an excellent job of protecting them against unauthorized access. Plus, speakers with a menu will also allow you to monitor and control your speaker’s security much more manageable.
How this helps: When you buy Bluetooth speakers with customizable security codes, you’ll have much more control over your speakers. No one will be able to guess to code, so only you will ever be able to use the speakers.
The same is valid with having a menu, either on the device itself through a display screen or a specialized app on your smartphone. With that menu, you can monitor, remove, and block unauthorized devices from accessing your speakers.
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