Unless you are driving an older model, the chances are you will be using a remote to gain access to your car.
Convenient and less hassle than fiddling around with a key in the lock, car remotes tick a lot of boxes, but a growing problem is the fact that thieves with electronic know-how are learning how to manipulate them in order to gain easy entry to your car.
It is not all bad news. If you can’t get into your vehicle due to a broken, stolen or damaged key, companies like CAT Autokeys can use the latest technology to program your key and get you out of a spot.
It is ok for the good guys to have access to the right technology to help you, but you also need to adopt some smart strategies to help thwart the efforts of a thief who is trying to steal your car.
Don’t draw attention to your car
Basic police security advice that has been around for many years is to keep any valuables or items that look worth stealing, out of sight when you are not in the vehicle.
It might seem obvious, but any mysterious bag sitting on the parcel shelf or on the back seat is just too much of a temptation for some thieves and you are simply encouraging a potential break-in by leaving stuff on display, so avoid drawing attention to your car.
Beware the cloners
There are still the old-fashioned methods being deployed by some crooks, which involves smashing a window and grabbing the contents in a matter of seconds, but there is now a real threat from criminals who might be able to clone your car remote.
Regardless of the make or model of your car, the way our car remotes work is by sending a code when you click the unlock button. This code is encrypted and constantly changing as a security measure, but it seems that some tech-wizards are using their skills in the wrong way and working out how to clone your remote.
Although this is not thankfully a widespread practice at the moment, it makes sense to be aware of anyone standing suspiciously close to your vehicle or who appears to be operating a device that you are not sure about.
It is definitely not easy to spot a criminal who might be trying to clone your remote, but rather like someone standing over you when you use the ATM, report any suspicious activity or hold back on pressing your remote if you are not sure.
Although modern car security systems are more sophisticated than ever before, it is still worth beefing up your security with a physical deterrent that will make a car thief think twice before targeting your vehicle.
Steering wheel locks and brake pedal locks are hardly cutting edge technology, but they still have a place in being able to act as visual and physical deterrents to a thief, who might be sufficiently dissuaded from breaking in, even if they manage to crack the code.
Car theft is extremely frustrating and even expensive when it happens to you, so try to think smart and reduce the odds of becoming a thief’s next victim.
Andy Allen has a senior role dealing with automotive security. He always appreciates the chance to share his insights online. His thoughts can be found across a number of different websites.