As a car owner, car security should top the list of your priorities. Thieves and burglars have mastered their art, honed their skills, and are getting better with time. Gone are the days when people gained forceful access to cars through breaking windows and doors or brute-forcing the lock with a screwdriver. We’ll therefore look at some of the alternative methods thieves now use to gain access to cars and steal vehicles, especially those with keyless systems. So, let’s take a quick look at how thieves can breach a car’s security system.
1. Relaying Of Signals.
Thieves are indeed getting more sophisticated with time. Keyless systems depend on radio signals that typically travel only a few yards. Once the signal has been intercepted by the car, the doors unlock automatically. This process is also used in vehicles that have start buttons. so, how do car thieves make use of this relatively new technology to sabotage car security?
They’ll sometimes use wireless transmitters that are attached to the door, window, or anywhere near the car or the owner. This transmitter will then intercept the signal as it’s being relayed to the car that’s being targeted. This process will usually require more than one person and once the signal has been relayed, the other person standing close to the vehicle then capture it, allowing them to unlock the car. Once inside, they’ll usually be able to start the car’s engine.
Tip: To prevent signal relays, boost car security by blocking the signals.
2. Key Programming
This is yet another advanced method of breaching car security. Many cars that have been on the road for a while now are required by law to have a standard diagnostic port which is easily located within the car’s interior. As such, would-be hackers are able to manipulate this port by using any number of sophisticated devices. The end result is that your car’s software can be cleared, meaning a ‘blank’ key fob can then be programmed.
Unfortunately, keyless cars tend to be the most affected since this technique can be used both for the car’s ignition and also for locking/unlocking the doors. This programming process doesn’t take very long either and the devices are fairly inexpensive if you know what to do with them.
Tip: The best way of countering key programming and boosting car security is by updating your car software regularly.
For convenience, some drivers now unlock their cars using apps, but these can be vulnerable to hackers. Therefore, thieves will often employ the use of geeky computer hackers to hack the app and login with their identity. Once they obtain the password, stealing the car is a piece of cake.
4. Close Range Testing
Although this technique doesn’t give thieves the power to drive off with your car, they can access the vehicle nonetheless and this can be accomplished by simply trying the doors. Close range testing is made possible when the keyless fobs are left near the car (the process can also result in a flat battery). To minimise the chances of this happening, try and make sure that you keep your fob well away from the car as much as possible.
Modern-day thieves can gain access to your car by jamming your car’s signal. This process makes use of a device that is wired to transmit on a similar frequency as the remote fob and is usually placed strategically near the target vehicle. The device will then prevent a lock command from reaching the car’s doors, leaving the thieves with easy access. Often, the car owner is blissfully unaware and will walk away thinking that they’ve locked their car.
Tips To Prevent Your Car From Disappearing
As car theft is a lucrative industry, thieves will often invest heavily in their nefarious ventures so let’s take a quick look at how to actually prevent your car from being stolen in the first place:
To bolster car security, you really should fit a tracker on your vehicle. A tracker monitors any suspicious activity and will normally send you an alert in the form of an instant e-mail or other similar forms of notification. As you’ll probably already know, trackers are also fitted with GPS to help locate a vehicle that’s been stolen.
2. Signal Blocking
Signal blocking can also be an effective method of saving your car from unwanted theft. As eluded to earlier in this post, thieves will often jam the signal of your vehicle to gain access. Therefore, make sure that you keep your keys safely away from the car or store them in a special box that blocks signals. This may sound a bit extreme but it can work well; you’ve perhaps read of stories in the papers about people keeping their keys in the microwave overnight!
“But…what if I’m walking?” If this is the case, it’s advisable to have a shielded wallet when walking since signal blocking is also an effective way of avoiding relay thefts when you’re mobile.
3. Keep Things Locked!
This is a good, practical method to stop thieves from driving away with your pride and joy. To boost car security, get yourself a good quality steering wheel lock that will make driving off either very hard or downright impossible. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest one you can find; invest in something with a proven track record such as some of the Thatcham devices on the market such as a Disklok. Also, you can help keep hackers at bay by locking the diagnostic port.
4. Update The Software
Simple but often effective; ensure that your car’s software is always up-to-date to prevent thieves from programming your vehicle easily.
5. Physical Awareness
Sometimes the ‘old-school’ methods can be the most effective. In other words, you can boost your car security by simply being vigilant of your surroundings and raising the alarm in case you smell a rat.
If you don’t want thieves to gain access to your car, secure storage comes into play. If you have a garage, put your car in it to keep it out of sight or have it fitted with a decent alarm that notifies you in case of any unwarranted entry or access.
Car security starts with you, the car’s owner. Make sure that you do your best to keep it safe by following some of the simple tips provided here. If you want a more in-depth appraisal of how to keep your car safe, you can, of course, get in touch with Keys 4 Cars for further assistance – After all, gaining access to locked cars is what we do for a living!