Are you worried about your car being stolen by thieves? You have good reason to be concerned. Nearly two vehicles are stolen every minute in the U.S., based on the data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). This means that there are about 2,736 car thefts per day or a whopping 82,080 vehicles ripped off per month.
This topic is particularly troubling to Perry from Germantown, Tennessee. He’s emailing us about this anti-theft question,
We just had an employee’s new Ford F150 truck stolen. How do we avoid this from happening? I hear the crooks have all kinds of tech to break in. Is “The Club” for the steering wheel still a good device? Thanks for your help with this!
– Perry, Germantown, TN
I’m very sorry to learn that your employee’s truck was stolen. That’s a terrible thing to happen, and I hope that the police can recover the truck and catch the crook soon.
Car theft is a serious problem that affects many people every year. Thieves can use various methods and technologies to break into and steal cars, whether your vehicle is older and lacks modern security features or is new and has all the bells and whistles.
High-tech ways thieves are stealing cars
There are many ways that thieves have found to use and get around the latest technology to steal cars.
Thieves use a device that scans and copies the code from the key fob when it is in close proximity, such as at a gas station or parking lot, and then use the cloned key to unlock and start the car.
Crooks can use a device that jams the signal from the key fob when the driver tries to lock the car, leaving the car unlocked and vulnerable to theft.
This is where thieves use a device that monitors voltage fluctuations in the car’s electrical system and sends a voltage fingerprint that enables the vehicle to start, bypassing the key fob or other authentication methods.
This is a device used by criminals that captures and amplifies the signal from the key fob inside someone’s house and relays it to another device near their car, tricking the car into thinking the key is present.
Thieves may also use a device disguised as a Bluetooth speaker to wire into the car’s electronic communication network near the headlight connector and impersonate the key fob, unlocking the doors and starting the engine.
How to prevent someone from stealing your car
If you want to make it harder for thieves to steal your car, you should consider using some of these methods that can deter or prevent them from doing so.
Use strong passwords to protect against hackers
If you have a keyless car, you need to be extra careful. Car burglars are very clever and they will try to get into your vehicle by using your online accounts and apps that are connected to your car. To stop them from doing that, you should always use a strong password for all your apps and accounts and consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords. Never share your passwords with anyone.
If you have a car with a keyless entry system, you might want to get yourself a blocking pouch, also known as a Faraday Bag. The pouch protects your key fob from being hacked or cloned by thieves.
It does this by blocking all signals from your key fob, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and RFID. We recommend the Lanpard Faraday Bag, which is made of high-quality carbon fiber material and has two layers of shielding for maximum security.
It also has a hook and a key ring for convenience. And the best part is, it comes in a pack of two, so you can have a backup or give one to someone else. At the time of publishing, this product had over 32,000 global reviews, with 74% giving it 5 stars.
Get a remote car starter
For those with older vehicles that don’t have a remote car starter already, you may want to consider getting one for your vehicle. A remote car starter allows you to start your engine from a distance. Although, it does not let you drive the car without the key. This is a safety feature that prevents unauthorized use of your vehicle.
A car starter is a great device to have when the weather is extreme, as it allows you to adjust the temperature of your car before getting inside.
If you don’t have a remote car starter and just leave your keys in the ignition with the car running, you’re making it pretty easy for a thief to get in your car and drive off.
Have a smart car alarm
A smart car alarm will not only trigger an enormously loud alarm when someone tries to break in, but it will also send an alert to your smartphone in case you aren’t within earshot to hear the alarm go off. This will enable you to alert the authorities and hopefully scare the thief off.
Install a kill switch
You can also install a kill switch into the ignition, fuel line, or battery to prevent the car from starting. As long as you remember to activate it every time you get out of your car, thieves will have a hard time getting it to start because they’d have to find the kill switch and shut it off first.
Use AirTags to track your vehicle
By keeping AirTags in your vehicle, you’ll be able to track where it is at all times. It would be best for you to have at least two in your car at all times, and you should keep them in a hidden space so that a thief wouldn’t easily see them and try to dispose of them.
And if you want to put AirTags inside a company vehicle, you may want to disclose you’re doing this to the employee so that they don’t feel that their privacy is being violated.
- Single AirTag: Small, coin-shaped tracking device made from plastic and stainless steel to work seamlessly with an iPhone to help you keep track of your personal belongings using the Find My app.
- Four-pack of AirTags: A four-pack of AirTags is a bundle of four small, coin-shaped tracking devices.
The Club is still a good device to use, as it can be an effective, highly visible anti-theft deterrent that might discourage thieves from taking your car. It’s a universal lock that can fit on most steering wheels and makes it difficult to steer the vehicle, forcing car thieves to move on to easier targets.
The company claims it resists sawing, prying, hammering, and freon attacks. However, it isn’t foolproof, as some thieves may be able to cut through it or bypass it. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on it alone. I recommend using it in combination with other security measures, as I mentioned above.
At the time of publishing, this product had over 2,7000 global reviews, with 83% giving it 5 stars.
Etch your VIN onto your windows
Etching your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into your car windows can deter some potential thieves from stealing your car. This is because a car with a visible VIN is easier for law enforcement to track down.
It’s also risky to try to sell car parts with a VIN attached to them, and although it might not stop every car thief, it will certainly stop many.
Keep your doors and windows locked
This is the most basic security measure when it comes to keeping your car safe. Make sure your doors are locked, and your windows are closed whenever you’re not in your car. You should also always remember to take your keys with you when leaving your car unattended.
Park your car in well-lit and busy areas
Thieves are more likely to target cars that are parked in dark and isolated areas, where they can commit their crimes without being seen or interrupted. If possible, park your car near a security camera, a street light, a busy entrance, and, even better, a locked garage
Never leave valuables in plain sight
Even if your car is locked, thieves may be tempted to break your windows if they see something valuable inside, such as a laptop, a phone, a wallet, or a bag. Either take your valuables with you or hide them in the glove compartment, the trunk, or under the seat.
Kurt’s key takeaways
Car theft is a serious threat that can cause you unneeded financial and emotional stress. By following my tips, you can make your car more secure and less likely to be stolen.
Remember to always lock your doors and windows, consider a remote car starter, have a smart alarm or a kill switch, use a blocking pouch, park in well-lit busy areas, and never leave valuables in plain sight. By doing these things, you can help protect your vehicle from thieves.
What other security measures would you like to see car companies be taking to protect your vehicle from thieves? Let us know by commenting below.
Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions: