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6 Simple Ways to Prevent Your Car from Getting Hacked

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protect your car from thieves hacking into its computer system

Today’s tech-heavy vehicles are essentially computers on wheels, fundamentally dependent on the circuitry and digital systems that flow through their veins. While such innovation unlocks new potential for vehicles, it also unlocks new methods for thieves and vandals to break into cars—not just physically, but virtually.

Many car-owners are still learning about the threat of car hacking, unfortunately, and criminals have the jump on them. Take action and follow these methods of protecting your car from getting hacked.

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How to Protect Your Car Computer from Hacking

  1. Don’t use your keyless fob to lock or unlock your car doors. These command transmissions can be intercepted and duplicated to unlock and ransack your vehicle. Instead, use the old-fashioned key to unlock and interior switch to lock upon exiting. Keep your fob lined with tin foil to prevent it from being accessed or duplicated.
  2. Secure your car’s steering wheel with a physical immobilizer like The Club. That way if your car does get unlocked, it’ll be much more difficult for the criminal to steal the vehicle and drive it away.
  3. Avoid purchasing new vehicles that are tricked out with the latest digital technology. The more digitally integrated your vehicle is, the more vulnerable it is to being hacked and disabled. Don’t give criminals lots of doorways to enter.
  4. Don’t plug USB data sticks into your car, as this could potentially open your system to viruses. If you need an OEM-ordered system update or patch done, take it to a dealership to have the update performed, rather than relying on remote updates.
  5. Avoid equipping your vehicle with aftermarket modifications that tap into the car’s computer system and/or telematics, such as insurance company devices that monitor driving habits. Chances are, these doodads don’t have the same security protections established like vehicle OEM devices do.
  6. Have your vehicle repairs done at dealerships or trusted garages you’re familiar with, even if they don’t involve accessing your on-board computer. Don’t let people you don’t know get full access to mess with your vehicle unobserved.

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Sources: Driving, Carmudi