Is It Safe to Put Car Keys in a Microwave?
Posted 10/17/22 by Elspeth Myers
How To Protect Your Car from Keyless Car Theft
The end of the day is tiring! You just want to ditch your things by the door and get the kettle on when you get home. Are you one of those people that chuck their car keys in a bowl by the front door? Making it easy for the morning commute.
Did you know that you’re doing something that could cost you thousands?
If you’re the owner of a keyless vehicle and your car fob is kept near your front door, you’re among 96% of motorists that are vulnerable to being victims of key hacking. A high-tech technique that allows thieves to gain access to and take off with your vehicle in a matter of minutes. We’ve broken down what keyless car theft is in a previous blog.
Below we’ve listed some effortless steps to help keep your precious car safe and hopefully keep opportunistic car hackers locked out.
Keyless Car Theft Explained
But first, here’s a quick breakdown! Keyless car theft, otherwise known as‘relay theft’, is where the signal from a key fob from a‘keyless entry’ car is captured by a thief standing close to the victim’s house using a device, with an accomplice standing next to the vehicle who can then open the car once their equipment detects the victim’s remote.
1 – The device transmits the signal to another thief who is standing close to the victim’s car.
2– This then‘tricks’ the car into thinking the key is close by, therefore allowing the vehicle to be opened and the ignition started.
You can see an example of keyless‘relay theft’ here, reported by the BBC.
Keep Your Keys Safe
And by this, we don’t mean keeping your keyless fob in a bowl or hook in the hallway, as this offers little protection against keyless car theft.
Now, here’s where it gets funny! Here at 3D Autokeys, we’ve heard it all, keeping your keys in the microwave or fridge overnight. We get it; these places do block the signal between your key fob and your car. However, it’s not safe to store your keys in the microwave. We’ve seen severe damage to kitchen appliances and car keys alike. Even worse, it could lead to a house fire if not controlled.
“I’ve had microwaved keys a few times now. Customer was quoted over £700 to fix that’s just for one key from a Honda dealer. we did two aftermarket keys for £230!”, Glen, 3D Autokeys Technician.
For the greatest protection, we recommend using a Faraday pouch. They’re a small, affordable option and will protect your keys without the risk of accidentally damaging them. However, keep it away from doors and windows because their signal-blocking capabilities vary.
Turn Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi When Not in Use
To avoid hackers taking advantage of your car’s open wireless connections, disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you’re not using them. Hackers can use these open wireless connections to take control of certain parts of your car, access its controller network, and even steal valuable personal data.
Why You Should Check for Car Software Updates
If you don’t update your car’s software regularly, it may be vulnerable to hackers who can take control of the steering wheel or steal valuable data. So always check for software updates and contact your garage or manufacturer when available.
Check The Doors Are Securely Locked
Do not just press your key fob and wait for a click or flashing lights to signal that your car is locked. Instead, check each door is securely locked with the handle. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by the number of people who do not lock their cars. This is prime time for thieves to try their luck; they often spend their time trawling streets, simply checking car doors to see if they are locked.
Don’t let yours be the unlocked car they land on!
Low-Tech Ways to Protect Against High-Tech Threats
Even though steering locks may seem old-fashioned, they are still effective deterrents against car theft. On the contrary, simple measures like this can prevent thieves from driving off with your car in the unfortunate event that they manage to unlock it.
Although installing a tracking device in your car won’t stop it from being stolen, it could potentially improve your chances of finding and returning your vehicle to you after it’s been stolen.
Many thieves are opportunistic and will strike if they see something valuable and worth stealing; it’s best to conceal valuables in your car by putting them in the glove compartment, boot or under the seat.
Check your insurance
It’s always worth double-checking what your car insurance covers and doesn’t in case of an accident.
In the battle against keyless car theft, you can take simple steps, whether checking for regular software updates or fitting tried-and-tested steering locks.
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