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23Mar 2016

Technology – friend or foe to car owners?

Car Theft

Car Theft: At the pace that technology is evolving and developing, you would expect the safety and security of cars to increase. Yet, quite the opposite is true. Just as technology is getting quicker, better and smarter, so are criminals.

Keyless security systems in cars are becoming more and more the norm. Instead of using your ‘run-of-the-mill’ ignitions, smartkeys are used. Smartkeys are identified via antennas in the car’s bodywork and a radio pulse generator in the key housing. The smartkey allows a car to be unlocked, locked or even starting a vehicle without touching a key. You would expect this keyless security system to eliminate the possibility of hotwiring a car and, in turn, make it a lot more difficult to steal. But this is unfortunately not the case.

As technology progressed so have the thieves. The thieves use hand-held devices to bypass keyless security systems and drive away with cars, which are then sold with fraudulent documents. Thieves basically ‘hack’ your car, like they would hack your email address or bank account, and drive off into the sunset.

This new technique has, however, not replaced remote jamming as the method of choice. Seeing that most South Africans don’t have cars that make use of smartkeys, thieves use a device to jam the signal from your remote control. This prevents the car from locking and gives them easy access to your car. This method is usually used in shopping mall parking lots or similar locations, where you’re likely to lock your car while walking off. We advise that you always check that your car is locked properly, before walking off. Rather be safe than sorry.

In many ways we look to technology to give us a sense of security, but even technology is flawed and can fail. Keyless car thefts and remote jamming are becoming a real trend and although there’s not much you can do to prevent it, at least you can rest assured knowing your car is insured with the king.