What is a trusted device?

Before you add a Bluetooth enabled device to your computer, make sure it's a trusted device. A trusted device is:

  • A personal or private device—a device that you own and control. For example, a mobile phone or smartphone that only you use.

  • A device that's owned and controlled by the company you work for. For example, a shared device at work, such as a printer, is usually trustworthy.

An untrusted device is:

  • Any device that attempts to connect to your computer that you aren't sure about. For example, if you see a notification that a Bluetooth enabled device is trying to connect to your computer, you shouldn't accept the invitation unless you're sure you know who's controlling the device and you trust that person.

  • A device that's available for public use in locations such as libraries and airports. For example, a publicly available printer in a library might not be trustworthy. For security reasons, always assume that a public device isn't trustworthy.

If you add a device located in a public place, a hacker could use the device to gain access to your computer and your files. For example, if you're in an airport and you use a public printer available through a service provider, a hacker could configure the computer to mimic the public printer. Then, when you think you are adding the printer, you're actually adding (connecting to) the hacker's computer. The hacker would then have control over your computer.

To help protect your computer, we recommend that you don't add any public device you don't trust. For information, see Add a Bluetooth enabled device to your computer.

Note

  • A device in a different physical location from your computer (for example, a shared printer in another room) isn't necessarily untrustworthy, especially if you're in a private place such as your office or home. You can usually trust a shared printer at work or home even if it's in another room, but it's best to be cautious.