Ways to Protect Your Vehicle From Theft

Motor vehicle owners face many new cyber challenges. Learn how to keep your vehicle safe from cyber criminals targeting automobiles.

As criminals are getting smarter about Motor Vehicle Theft, you should become more aware of ways to protect your vehicle from falling victim. Vehicle manufacturers are making changes to help combat theft but there are steps individuals can take immediately.

What car companies are doing

When you discover your vehicle is stolen, companies, such as OnStar, have vehicle theft plans in place. OnStar is a system available on certain Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models. The Stolen Vehicle Assistance program allows you “utilize GPS technology designed to locate your vehicle, alert authorities, and in some cases, remotely slow down your vehicle so thieves won’t get far.”

Toyota has also come out with a similar feature on their cars called Safety Connect. When your vehicle is stolen, “agents can assist authorities in locating your vehicle using GPS technology.”

This technology will help to recover your stolen vehicle. Even the knowledge of this technology existing in these vehicles will prevent theft.

Finding Solutions

Companies should consider other options to further the effort to reduce vehicle theft. This could be as simple as an on/off switch on key fobs. Another solution could be to increase the encryption making the data more difficult to duplicate onto outside devices. 

Protecting yourself against Motor Vehicle Theft

To minimize the risk of your vehicle being stolen beyond recovery there are a few things that consumers can do:

  1. Place your key fob in a metal tin, aluminum foil, or in Faraday Bag when not in use. Metals can help to interfere with radio frequencies criminals use to unlock and start your vehicle.
  2. Keep your key fob far away from windows and doors when not in use.
  3. Remove the battery from key fob when not in use.
  4. Use a Steering Wheel Lock to physically secure the steering column and deter potential thieves.
  5. Keep your vehicle in a locked garage when possible.
  6. Subscribe to a vehicle tracking security service that will alert you whenever your vehicle is departing from a location.
  7. Consider adding a tracker (such as Apple AirTag) somewhere inside your vehicle, so if it is stolen, you have the means of identifying where the vehicle was transported to.
  8. Install a video surveillance system (such as the Ring doorbell camera system) that will alert you whenever a person trespasses onto your property.
  9. Park your vehicle in well lit and visible parking lot location.

Summary

Overall, as vehicles get smarter, hackers do too. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from vehicle theft. Before buying a new vehicle, research vehicle models that use higher encryption and have reliable anti-theft systems in place. Consider buying a vehicle that requires insertion of your key in order to start. Even better, go for a vintage automobile that lacks any solid state components and your vehicle should be resistant to any such radio frequency attacks.

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