For this new month of the new year, I’ll post weekly on starting the new year with some technology tips. Today’s post is about a few simple security measures you should take.
Security Tips for the New Year
If it’s a computer, it can be hacked. So, have you thought about your car with its many computer systems?
Your Key Fob
If you have a key fob (especially one without a button to turn it on), your car is always waiting for a unique signal from you. Thieves can amplify your signal, narrow down the code in 30 minutes and break into your car. This is a sophisticated theft and not going to happen on your shopping trip.
A more likely scenario would be when your car is at your home.
Your new habit for the new year is to secure your key fob at home in one of several ways:
- wrap it in foil and store it in a tin can
- buy a faraday case
- store in a closed metal case of some sort
Take one of these easy steps and protect your car from a break-in. If you have a newer car with a push-button start, they could also start your car right away and drive off.
Test your security (like the tin can) by taking the fob in the can out to your car. If you can’t open the car, you’ve blocked the signal. No, you aren’t paranoid. You’re being aware and safe. You don’t leave your house key in your doorknob, do you?
Your Cellular Connection
Cellular connections could allow hackers into other parts of your car’s systems. Watch this Wired.com video. Two hackers accessed the car’s entertainment system at ten miles distance. They controlled the brakes, the engine, and more. Chrysler responded to this threat by recalling cars and installing a software upgrade.
This isn’t a current threat but could become one. Subscribing to a cellular service through your car opens this potential door.
In November, I recommended you update your passwords to unique passphrases. Like me, that advice hit at the beginning of a very busy season. You have more time now to deal with this important security tip. Re-read Passphrases Are the New Passwords and then start updating your passwords to unique and strong passphrases.
What security measures will you take for the new year?
- This is one in a series of beginning-of-the-year posts for Cru staff:
- Why you might want to wrap your car key fob in foil (USA Today, Dec. 28, 2018)
- Why you should wrap your car keys in aluminum foil (Kim Komando)
- Photo by Roland Denes on Unsplash