Thanks to Mercury Insurance for sponsoring this post on Hackable Cars.
We all take measures to safeguard our vehicles. We park in well-lit areas, packages left in the car aren’t visible and we keep our doors locked. But with the advances in technology, we now need to do even more to keep our cars safe.
Connected cars make our lives easier, whether it’s onboard navigation so we can find the alternate route to grandma’s house, hands-free integration so we can use our cellphones while driving or the convenience of keyless entry, there’s no question that these things make connected cars a desirable luxury.
But these luxuries lead to something else: hackable cars. Don’t think your car is hackable? Here are 5 ways your car may be at risk that you may not be aware of.
- On-board diagnostics-II (OBD-II) ports – While these are most commonly used by mechanics to perform diagnostics, we also see them used by insurance companies to track your mileage and driving behavior to calculate your insurance rate. You don’t need to do this, however, to get auto insurance so I recommend that you steer clear of companies that require you to use a device that could open you up to cyberattacks. There are a lot of options out there, but one company that doesn’t use this technology is Mercury Insurance.
- Key fobs – Keyless entry is a fabulous thing. It means you don’t have to fumble around for your keys. Unfortunately, it can be hacked. There is evidence that shows that the range on the signal of your key fob is quite extensive, so use caution on how you store it when you’re not with your vehicle.
- Infotainment systems (including audio files that owners may have synced for in-car entertainment) – Satellite radio, smartphone synching and other in-car entertainment is wildly popular, but it’s also a point of entry for hackers to tamper with your systems.
- Navigation systems – just like infotainment systems, updates are often made over wireless connections, which provides hackers with an access point.
- Bluetooth – the same technology that allows you to connect your smartphone and make calls hands free also opens a way for those who are unscrupulous to hack into your car. Turn it off when it’s not in use.
Wondering what to do if you think your car has been hacked? Take it to your dealer for a thorough inspection. Do you have reason to believe the hack has effected your ability to drive your car safely? Call a tow truck!
Want to know more? Mercury Insurance is helping consumers answer the question “How Hackable is Your Car?” with an interactive infographic that shows the specific areas your vehicle may be vulnerable to a cyberattack. Visit https://blog.mercuryinsurance.com/how-hackable-is-your-car/?cid=pr2021 to get your vehicle’s risk score and find helpful tips for keeping it safe.