Do you remember when you had to use an actual key to get into your car? The fumbling around with a ring of keys trying to find the one that unlocks the car door, while you are either in a big hurry, have your hands full with other things, or both, was a bother in a lot of cases. It seems like long ago, now that we have the key fob to unlock the door and, in many cases, start the engine. It’s a breeze now – just have your thumb available to press the magic button, and the car is unlocked and possibly running without much effort on your part – except when thieves get in the way. Vehicle theft has always been something people need to protect themselves against, whether it be from people that just want your vehicle for their own, or they want to break it down, sell the parts and make a fast dollar.
Yes, cyber criminals can not only steal your identity, they can steal your vehicle, and the car key fob is a popular way to do it. Here are some ways crooks can take over your car key fob and ways to keep you and your vehicle secure.
3. Stealing the Signal
The way the fob works is that when you press the button, the fob sends a code to your car. An enterprising thief nearby can steal the code. They can set up a special receiver that will acquire the code, then relay it back to the vehicle after you have walked away. This unlocks the vehicle, and the thief can drive away. One way to thwart this effort is to store the key fob in a metal container. While the signal can pass through walls, windows and doors, metal can stop the signal from traveling. When you are at home, store the key fob as far away from the vehicle as possible.
2. Fob in the Car
Believe it or not, a number of vehicle thefts are a result of people actually leaving their key fob inside the car. This makes it extremely easy for a car thief – all that is required is unlocking the door, which can be done in a lot of different ways. The remedy for this one is obvious: never leave a key fob inside the vehicle. Other things to consider are to make sure you park in a well-lit area and use the Club, an anti-theft device.
1. Unlocked doors
It sounds silly to say, but yes, people do leave their car doors unlocked. How much easier could it get for a car thief? It’s hard to imagine it being any easier. Because this is such an elementary mistake, very few people will admit to making it. While it may seem obvious, we will go ahead and remind you: ALWAYS lock your car doors.
One other tip that can help you regardless of the method a potential thief might use is to purchase a GPS device that can be attached to the bottom of the vehicle. This will make it easy to track the vehicle’s location. These devices can be purchased for $50.00.
Car manufacturers are hard at work making upgrades to hardware and software to improve vehicle safety and security. Even as they do so, thieves will find a way to catch up until another round of protection is developed. It’s unfortunate, but in the world we live in there are always people that will resort to stealing when they see something they want or a route to fast money. For most people, the car is their second-largest purchase after the home. Protect this valuable asset by taking these steps to keep the thieves from hacking your key fob.