According to the FBI, there were 765,000 vehicle thefts in the U.S. in 2016. That translates into 87 cars stolen each hour: but while the crime is too common, car theft is not inevitable. Follow these tips to put the odds of finding your car where you left it in your favor.
Watch your keys
Thieves may intercept and replicate the signals from your key fob from outside your home. Armed with that code, they could open the car doors and even drive off. Store your keys in an inexpensive key fob pouch, which uses protective material to block the wireless signal.
Secure your Wi-Fi
If your car has a Wi-Fi hotspot, hackers may be able to use it to access your car’s electronic controls. Practice the same strong security hygiene you do for your other devices: Choose a difficult-to-guess password and keep your software up to date.
Track your car
Vehicle tracking systems are widely available, and some drivers may track their cars’ locations with smartphones and mobile apps. Even a simple window sticker announcing the use of a tracking system may deter would-be thieves.
Invest in an anti-theft device
Car alarms, steering wheel locks and kill switches may be enough to persuade thieves to reconsider. Contact your insurance agent to see whether any anti-theft devices equal a discount on car insurance.
Remember: The basics work, too
While high-tech crime continues to affect your car’s security, many thefts are low-tech. Don’t neglect the obvious: Never leave your car running unattended, always lock your doors and roll up your windows, and park in heavily populated, well-lit areas (or in a garage when you can). Exercise common sense, and you’ll help to greatly increase the likelihood that your car will be exactly where you left it.