Keyless Car Theft: 9 Smart Ways to Protect Your Vehicle
September 20, 20225 min read
Did you know that it is now possible for thieves to open your keyless car without even touching the fob or car itself? Around the country, people are finding remote access vehicles missing from their driveways and parking spaces. But how does it happen, and can you prevent it?
Luckily, there are ways you can minimize the risk. Read on as we discuss how to avoid keyless car theft.
Can Keyless Cars Be Stolen?
Thieves can easily steal keyless cars. Using a specialist device, modern car thieves will intercept the signal relay sent out by your keyfob. Once they have it, they can copy it to gain access to your vehicle.
These devices don't cost much money, and thefts are increasing. Therefore, it pays to be vigilant and protect yourself.
1. Buy a Faraday Key Fob Guard
A whole host of wearable and everyday items now come equipped with Faraday protection. Faraday fabric consists of a metallic screen that prevents electromagnetic and electrostatic interference. In short, the inlay in the key fob sleeve prevents signals from entering or leaving.
You can buy blocking pouches from most auto centers. However, these are often low quality and may not work as well as more comprehensive ones.
If you want to invest in car security, consider purchasing higher-quality key fob sleeves with credible testing results. You can prevent thieves from gaining access to your car for as little as twenty dollars.
2. Think About Where You Put Your Keys
When key fob car theft occurs, it involves a process known as relay theft or a relay attack. The criminal stands near your house with a device that bounces signals from your key fob to a second device that records the signal.
However, for this to happen, the first thief must be around five to twenty meters (16 to 65 feet) from the key. You can increase this distance by storing your keys away from your car and your house's doors and windows.
Placing car keys in a central position in the home is the best prevention plan, though it may not always be possible. If you don't have a Faraday pouch or bag, consider placing your keys in a metal container. Also, remember to do this with any spare keys you have.
3. Install a Steering Wheel Lock
Steering wheel locks are a type of security device for cars that prevent the steering wheel from being turned. They're designed to protect against theft by making it difficult for thieves to steal a car without a key.
The steering wheel lock comprises two parts: a metal lock that secures the steering wheel and a metal rod that connects to the brake pedal and prevents it from being pressed.
Keyless car theft is an act of stealing a vehicle without using keys or any other physical object, instead relying on remote controls.
The most common way to steal a car with this technique is by breaking into the car and programming its keyless entry system to start the engine. Thieves can do this with an electronic device or by fiddling with wires under the dashboard, known as "jumpering."
Thieves have only used this newer technique for the last few years. In most cases, criminals use jumpering to steal high-end luxury cars because of the general rarity and cost. Car thieves may also use this method when the owner doesn't have the key fob for their vehicle, such as if it's stolen and recovered.
4. Always Lock Your Car
You may think this is an obvious one. However, not everyone remembers to lock their car every time they leave it. It may be in the driveway as they go into the house to retrieve something, or it may be left open when they pay for parking.
Don't just lock your car, either. Ensure all security features, including the car alarm, are enabled in case someone decides to steal a car when you least expect it.
5. Turn Off Keyless Entry
If the signal from your fob is not transmitting, thieves have nothing to intercept. To assist, make sure you turn off the wireless signal.
Most key fobs have the option to be turned off, though it may vary with each model. Try checking the owner's manual or searching online to see how you can do it yourself. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, reach out to your vehicle’s manufacturer for detailed instructions.
6. Reprogram Your Keys
One way to increase key fob theft protection with second-hand vehicles is to have your keys reprogrammed. It's essential to consider this if one of your keys is lost or missing.
The downside of reprogramming key fobs is that the process is quite expensive. You need to consult a specialist locksmith about the process. However, it will ensure that any keys belonging to previous owners or stolen keys can be used to access your vehicle.
7. Invest in CCTV Security Cameras
If you park your car in your driveway, a CCTV camera is an inexpensive and effective way to monitor activity. Even low-priced options provide clear images, allowing you to check on anyone showing an interest in your vehicle.
Many security systems notify you of activity via your mobile phone. If anyone comes near your car or property, you will know about it. Thieves could be trying to gain access or intercept your fob signal.
If you don't want to install CCTV, consider adding motion-activated lighting to the outdoor section of your home. This increases visibility, effectively surprising and deterring would-be thieves.
8. Etch Your Windows
Etching your windows won't prevent unwanted keyless car entry but can be a deterrent. It involves etching the vehicle identification number on the windows, headlights, and mirrors.
Cloning a vehicle identification number is a common practice used by thieves. This involves giving a registered car a stolen VIN to pass off as a legal vehicle.
If the car is stolen and its identity changes, etching makes the task harder to do. Most car thieves would prefer to spend time and effort stealing another vehicle.
9. Clear Your Car Out
You are more likely to experience keyfob car theft if you have expensive items visible in your car. This gives criminals extra incentive, as not only do they get your vehicle, but they also get things that are easy to sell.
Laptops, mobile phones, and personal items are the worst to leave in a vehicle. Make sure you clear your car out each time you park it. Place any items in bags and remove them entirely from view, or take them with you.
Keyless Car Theft
Now that you know how to reduce the chance of keyless car theft, assess your current habits. If you need to invest in security items, then do so—this is far less expensive than replacing your stolen vehicle.
SLNT has a range of bags, sleeves, and wallets to protect your items and your privacy. Our items make your devices invisible, untrackable, and silent. Visit our range of Faraday bags for keys before you fall victim to keyless car theft.
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