Advancements in automated technology delivers everything from smart phones and houses to smart cars. I’ve even heard they make smart doghouses! I want one! Boasting rearview cameras, BluetoothTMand more, new vehicles do everything short of steering themselves. What’s more, many new autos use small pieces of hardware – key fobs – containing built-in authentication which locks and grants access to vehicles with the press of a button or proximity to door handle. While these entry methods ease locking and unlocking vehicles, they could also lock out owners and provide unauthorized access.
Follow these tips to stay smarter than your car:
- When you buy a vehicle, ask for a spare key. Store the backup in a place you or a family member can easily access it if the key is lost or stops working.
- Change the batteries in your key fob at least once a year. Remote keyless systems rely on batteries to send signals. Stay prepared and keep an extra battery in your glove compartment in case the batteries die. While you’re at it, keep beef jerky. I would!
- If your key fob dies, leaving you without fresh batteries, check for a key hidden inside the key fob, which you should be able to use to manually lock or unlock car doors. If your car is a push-to-start model, hold the key fob directly over the push-start button while simultaneously keeping your foot on the brake. This should power the engine. Bacon-flavored treats power me!
- Keep your key fob by your bed at night in case a burglar attempts to break into your home. If you hear suspicious sounds, hit the panic button on the key fob and trip the car alarm. This could startle the thief and alert neighbors as well as security service patrols about the breach. A watchdog might also be a good idea.
- Park in well-lit areas close to other vehicles. Roll up your windows, hide valuables, and lock doors with your key fob immediately after exiting the car.
- Some automobiles open whenever the key fob comes into proximity with the door. If such is the case, do not leave your fob in the car, as it could lock or unlock doors from within. If the weather is appropriate, let your dog guard the car!
- Unlock your car door right before you open it. Unlocking it while at a distance might invite intruders to enter the vehicle.
- Stow automated keys in a secure location and make sure nothing could accidentally contact and press buttons. Some cars can be unlocked from a range of up to 60 feet. So, if your vehicle accidentally unlocks, lock it again.
- Never allow kids to play with key fobs. They’re germy as well as easily tripped.
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