How Your Car’s Keyless Entry System Makes Auto Theft Easier Than Ever
2020 brought 873,080 car thefts—the highest number in a decade. The previous few years leading up to 2020 actually saw a decrease in car thefts before this 9.2% upward jump. The reason? Keyless entry systems and push-button ignitions.
These technological advancements have at once made our lives more convenient and our cars more at risk for theft. This is due to a combination of readily-available technology found on popular online shopping mega-sites and our very own key fobs, which provide for easy access and quick getaways.
Problems with Spare Key Fobs
Gone are the days of slow, manual hotwiring practices. Now, all a car thief has to do is spot a spare key fob in your cup holder to gain instant access to your car. This is because most keyless entry systems won’t completely lock if your key fob is still in your vehicle. That means anyone can walk up, open the door, and drive away.
Remote Start and Proximity Issues
The same risk applies even when your key fob is in your possession. If a thief waits till you’re close enough, they can unlock the door, get in, start the car, and drive off while you’re still a few paces away. To combat this, choose a vehicle that still uses a key for entry, or that has a secondary security measure in place such as fingerprint or retina scanning. If your current car has none of these options, ensure that you never leave a spare key fob in your car and refrain from using the remote start capabilities as much as possible.
Targeted Key Fob Reprogramming
Another way thieves can jack your car through your key fob includes reprogramming your keyless entry system with the help of transmitters which can be easily purchased on big-name websites. These reprogramming efforts are undetectable while they’re happening, except in rare cases when the key fob is already constructed to thwart such measures. Keep your key fob in a signal blocking pouch to avoid reprogramming by bad actors.
Most motor companies have still not addressed this rampantly exploited vulnerability in their keyless entry systems. This means that you will need to take strong measures, especially while at home, to ensure that you do not become a victim of car theft. Consider installing a home security system with video surveillance to capture any potential car thieves on camera. The alarm system will also alert you should a car thief attempt to break into your garage to access your vehicle.
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