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Top 10 Ways to secure your car – Actual tips to Maximize your car security now

Blog_Top 10 Ways to secure your car - Actual tips to Maximize your car security now! 2

Nowadays, you keep on hearing about how vehicles are being stolen very easily in only a few minutes.  There are so many available methods that can be used including relay attacks, OBD port hacking or key cloning to remote code grabbing and more.  It’s true that thieves can easily obtain these tools online and use them to perform thefts and cars new and old are susceptible.

So, is there anything you can really do to protect yourself?  Let’s start by saying that if thieves really want to steal something they can usually find a way.  Your best way to protect yourself is to use a layered approach to security.  Make it more difficult for the thieves to steal by adding more hurdles or increasing their chances of getting caught.  It may be enough to get them to move on to the next target.

In this video, I’m going to show 10 ways to protect your car that you can implement.  If you need more details on these methods, checkout the detailed videos we have on some of these topics.  I’ll provide the links in the video description below.

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Number 1 – Steering wheel lock

Though most are easily defeated by cutting the steering wheel itself, some are better than others.  A good quality one that is properly fitted and used properly can add some difficulty to the theft and make it a little more time consuming for the thieves.

Make sure to always use it when leaving the vehicle unattended.  It’s useless if you don’t use it.  Find out more in our other video.

Number 2 – OBD Port lock or port relocation

As mentioned before, thieves are also using the OBD Port in vehicles to perform car thefts.  Some use the OBD port to disarm the factory alarm and then program the vehicle to start.  Other methods include programming a new blank key to be used to start your vehicle.

One way to make this more difficult to do is to use a good quality OBD port lock like the one I show in our other video.

Alternatively, you could relocate your OBD port with a dummy port so that the real port is not accessed in an attempted theft.  Find out more in our DIY video.

Number 3 – Faraday box / Faraday bag

Keyless entry and keyless start systems allow you to lock, unlock and start your vehicle without having to physically use the key.  This system called passive keyless entry and start, uses radio signals that are transmitted between your key FOB and vehicle when you touch the door handle or specific buttons on the vehicle.  Unfortunately, the technology is not so secure.  Thieves can use relay attack devices to easily relay the signal long distances between your key FOB in your house when at home or in your pocket when you are out to trick your vehicle into thinking your key FOB is right next to it.  This allows the thieves to unlock, start your vehicle and drive away with it.

A Faraday cage is just an enclosure that blocks certain frequencies of radio signals from escaping.  It can come in the shape of a box, pouch or bag.  You can make your own as we show in our DIY videos or buy one online.  Placing your keys inside will prevent a relay attack from being used on you.

Just be aware that you need to test your Faraday box or bag regularly because sometimes they actually don’t work or they wear out and stop working like this particular pouch I was using before.  Find out more on this and also how to make and test a Faraday box or pouch in our other videos.

Alternatively, some newer key FOBs have a protection feature to turn off the Keyless entry system.  Check your owner’s manual for this.  For example, you can double tap the Lock button on this Mercedes key FOB and it will disable the keyless entry system.

Just note that pressing any of the keys on the remote can also be a way thieves can gain access to some vehicles.  This is because a signal is sent out whenever a button is pressed.  This method called Active Keyless Entry and Start is susceptible to code grabbing or code playback where your transmitted signals are captured, decoded and used to access your vehicle.  In the end, it may still be safer to use a faraday box or bag.

Also, if you use your phone’s app along with Bluetooth to access your vehicle, you may also want to consider disabling this feature as Relay attacks have been shown to work on these systems too.

One final note on Faraday cages.  Do not to use a Microwave or Fridge to keep your key FOBs in because they don’t work.  Though microwaves are Faraday cages too, but by design they do not block the radio frequencies used by key FOBs.  I’ve tested this for you and as you can see, I can unlock the door and also start the car with the key inside the microwave.

Number 4 – VIN cover

The VIN number is the Vehicle Identification Number which is a 17-character code that is unique to your vehicle.  It provides details such as the country of manufacture, the manufacturer, vehicle type, brand, style, model, series, security check code, model year, assembly plant and serial number.  This number is easily and readily visible for anyone that can walk up to your vehicle since it is displayed in plain site on the driver’s side of the windshield.

Some thieves can use the VIN to determine if your vehicle is susceptible to certain known hacks or methods of theft.  They can check your VIN and then come back at a later time with the tools needed to steal your vehicle.

So, a good practice would be to make a simple cover plate for your VIN and cover it.  You can easily remove it if needed, but you most likely won’t need to.  This is because anyone that typically needs to know the VIN will have access to your vehicle and can find it in multiple places including the driver’s side door area or under the hood.

Remember to share this post with friends & family to share the knowledge!

Number 5 – Enable PIN to drive

It has been shown by COSIC researchers that Tesla vehicles have been susceptible to Passive Keyless Entry and Start system attacks.  Though passive keyless entry and start systems are susceptible to Relay attacks, the researchers have shown that if you understand the system, you can use its weaknesses to break it.  In this case, they have found that the older Tesla Model S’ use outdated encryption and lacked other security features, which allowed them to clone the key FOB in a few seconds.  Find a link to their blog post and video in our video description to find out more. 

Similar to your smartphone, one of the solutions implemented by Tesla to combat this includes adding PIN to drive.  This security feature requires you to enter a PIN before you can drive the vehicle.  This may be something more manufacturers add in future vehicles so, enabling the PIN feature on any vehicle that has one, can add another layer of security to protect yourself.

Number 6 – Dash cam with Parking mode

A dash cam with parking mode is installed in a way that allows it to record footage while you drive and also record impact and motion events while your car is turned off and parked.

Though it will not prevent car theft, it can protect you in other ways.  You may be able to get footage of suspicious activity around your vehicle.  Plus, some dash cams also have cloud features allowing you to get alerts on your phone, store video footage in the cloud, use GPS tracking and remote live viewing.  When parked at home some of these dash cams can also connect to your home WiFi allowing you to access the live view and recordings remotely without having a subscription plan.

A dash cam can be a very useful security add-on for anyone that owns a vehicle.

Number 7 – Aftermarket Car Alarm

In general, factory car alarms are standard nowadays and they can only do so much.  Some can even be disabled by plugging in specialized OBD adapters that hack the vehicle’s computer.

Getting an aftermarket car alarm with features like 2-way remotes with 3-mile range, tilt sensors, tamper alerts, GPS tracking, Geo-fencing and more can be useful.  Though, oftentimes people ignore car alarms that are going off, it’s still another method to attract attention to someone potentially stealing your vehicle or for you to stop a theft in progress.

For car alarms that use mobile networks, just note that availability may be affected by the cellular coverage in your area and there will likely be a subscription plan.

Number 8 – Where you park

You’ve probably heard this many times before and though it is effective, you can’t always park in a secured garage 100% of the time.  When you are not parked in a secured garage, there are still things you do that can put you at greater risk.

For example, parking in a bad part of town just to be more convenient or to get free parking will put you at higher risk.  It’s also why insurance companies assess the neighborhood you live in to determine premiums.  Higher risk equals higher premiums.  So, choose safety over convenience.

Number 9 – GPS Tracker

If your vehicle were to get stolen, having a way to track it can help get it recovered.  There are multiple ways to do this including getting specific aftermarket GPS tracking systems installed.

Some of these systems can be costly and require professional installation along with a subscription plan, while others are small adapters that plug into the OBD port.  Note that the OBD port trackers are easily removed and the OBD port should be protected anyway so this type may not be ideal.

In general, any GPS tracking system should be installed in a way that it cannot be located and removed easily.  Also, having a backup power for the GPS tracking system is a good idea.

Apple AirTag

Alternatively, some people are using Bluetooth trackers like Apple AirTags as a way to inexpensively track their belongings such as luggage, bicycles, vehicles and more.  Though not approved by Apple, people have disabled the speaker inside the tracker to make the trackers harder to locate and remove.  Apps like AirGuard can be used to locate these trackers in case you are being tracked without consent but thieves can also use these apps too.  So, if using Bluetooth trackers, perhaps using two trackers hidden in different locations in the vehicle can make it more difficult for the thieves to locate and remove without spending more time.

I’ve heard that Google may be creating a Bluetooth tracker similar to Apple’s AirTags so be on the lookout for that if you are an Android user.

Number 10 – Home security system

Nowadays, anyone can easily buy and install a home security system with cameras that cover the area around the house.  Though it can’t prevent theft in all cases, it can allow you to be notified so that you can stop a theft in progress or to be notified of suspicious activity on your property.  This can allow you to be more vigilant in monitoring when needed.  At the very least, you can get footage to know when and how your vehicle was stolen, how many thieves are involved and potentially a description of them.

There you go!  10 ways you can protect your vehicle.  What do you think?  Did we miss any?  Are you using any of these methods?  Let us know in the YouTube video comments and don’t forget to subscribe, like our channel and share our videos to help our channel grow.  Thanks for the support!

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