As the cars we drive become more sophisticated, so do the tools that thieves use to snag them right under our noses. Yes, the modern car thief has evolved from a petty crook to a tech-savvy lawbreaker who is fully-equipped to steal a keyless car or a commercial van in a matter of seconds using electronics bought at basically any electronics store. It’s that easy.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should fear for the safety of your vehicle day and night, it just means that you need to know how to protect it using technology yourself, and by following some tried-and-tested safety rules that are guaranteed to keep any car safe. Some of the security tips we’ll be sharing today work great on their own, but it’s best if you combine two or more in order to maximize the safety of your vehicle. Here are the best security practices you should employ.
Know where to park
First things first, you need to cover the basics, and that means knowing where you should and should not park your car. While parking your car in a well-lit, crowded parking lot might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually one of the best places to leave your car, especially if you manage to find a spot directly under a street lamp or where there are cameras. Car thieves will be more reluctant to steal a vehicle that’s sitting in a well-lit area that’s visible from multiple angles.
If you have the option to park in a private parking lot or you have a private garage, then make sure to park there every night instead of leaving your car in the street, though. Always try to park your car where you can see it – if you’re headed to a bar or a café, park the car close to the window to deter any suspects.
Keep your keys away from doors and windows
Keyless car theft occurs when people leave their keys close to the front door or the windows – this allows the thief to get close enough to the key fob with a transmitter or an amplifier that allows them to manipulate the key from the outside. If you allow this to happen, the thieves can unlock your car in a matter of seconds, and drive away without a trace. While it is completely normal to leave your keys in the key tray near the front door, you might want to move the entire tray into the living room from now on.
What’s more, keeping your key away from the doors and windows will deter the suspect from trying to break into your home to grab the keys. Thieves nowadays will scout the property thoroughly in search of your keys, and if they see them near a door or a window, they might attempt the old-fashioned break-in.
Cover your car from head to toe
One of the main reasons why a keyless car is an easy target is simply its aesthetic appeal and the fact that it stands out from the crowd. Plus, leaving it exposed makes it a viable target just like any other vehicle, but if you take the time to cover up your car with a durable car cover that will keep it safe from the elements but also any potential break-ins as well, you will be able to keep car thieves at bay. How does a car cover deter carjackers, you ask?
Simply put, car thieves don’t have a lot of time to jack a car. Otherwise, they risk getting caught in the act. Their goal is to snag a car as quickly and inconspicuously as possible, which is not something they can do if they have to take off the car cover first. If the cover is made out of durable materials and hugs the bottom edges of the vehicle, the thief would need to spend time taking it off – this is not something anyone will commit to because it’s just too risky. Putting a car cover on your vehicle is not only an effective solution but an affordable one as well, so don’t dismiss it.
Turn your key off
Not all key fobs can be turned off, but if you have the option to do so, then be sure to turn your key off every time you lock the vehicle. Don’t think that nothing bad can happen, and don’t take your chances, as it only takes one push of a button to turn the key off and secure your vehicle from a possible break-in. If you’re unsure whether your key fob has this option, be sure to check with your dealer or consult your owner’s manual.
Install a car tracking device
GPS trackers might have been expensive a couple of decades ago, but nowadays they fall in the same category as basic consumer electronics and you can buy them for cheap at almost any electronics store or online shop like Amazon. This is a cheap yet highly effective solution in the post-theft scenario, and while it won’t prevent the theft, it will allow the authorities to track down your car and return it to you quickly. If you don’t have a tracker and the car gets stolen, then you have a very small chance of ever recovering the vehicle.
Buy a signal-blocking pouch
To block amplifiers and transmitters from manipulating your keys from a distance, manufacturers often advise keeping your keys in a metal container. This is your first line of defense but it’s not always 100% effective. If you want to err on the side of caution at all times, then you should get a signal-blocking pouch. The pouch will prevent the thieves from even picking up the signal from the keys, meaning that they won’t even attempt to steal your vehicle. If they do try to send out a transmission, the pouch will prevent the signal from traveling from the keys to your car.
Keyless cars have been prime targets for tech-savvy thieves in recent years, and even though manufacturers have made great progress in refining the keyless technology for enhanced safety, that still doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some precautions yourself. Be sure to use these tips to keep your car safe at all times.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogger and content writer. He is a regular contributor to numerous blogs and online magazines, where he writes mostly about travel, tourism, cars, technology, as well as business and entrepreneurship.