Over the years, fewer things have had as big of an impact on society as the internet. From helping you shop, find recipes, binge your favorite TV shows, or catching up with friends, the internet can do it all.
However, while the internet plays a significant role in our lives, most people understand that using the internet can lead to potential online security risks. For instance, scammers can hack into a website and steal your personal information, including an account’s password or a credit card number, making learning how to keep your information safe when using the internet essential.
To protect against scammers, USAGov recommends keeping your computer software updated and downloading your computer, tablet, or smartphone’s latest versions of their operating systems, web browsers, and apps. However, while there are best practices for our electronic devices, updates to vehicle technology have led some to wonder, “can someone hack my car?”
Can Someone Hack My Car?
Automotive technology has advanced significantly over the past several decades. Today, car manufacturers include advanced tech features and self-driving capabilities to make life on the road easier for their drivers, like:
- Reading your social media feeds out loud
- Parking your car for you
- Stopping your vehicle to avoid an accident
- Monitoring your blind spots
But with technology comes risks. Anytime you connect a device or vehicle to the internet, it is vulnerable to hacking and security concerns. In fact, cybercriminals can take control of a car through the built-in Wi-Fi, keyless entry, ignition control, or internet radio reception. They can even gain access from your tire pressure monitoring system, steering, and brakes.
Although an automobile manufacturer intends to promote the driving experience with innovative technology, nightmare situations can still occur if the wrong person gains remote access to your vehicle. Depending on the hacker’s abilities, they could disable the engine, brakes, or steering. They could even access your onboard diagnostic port through devices that are plugged into it. In other words, if a feature can connect to the internet, a hacker can disable it.
Which Vehicles Are the Most Hackable?
Consumer Watchdog reports that several top-selling vehicles are particularly susceptible to hacking – with Tesla being considered the worst. Other cars with wireless connectivity systems and remote-start capabilities that may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks include:
- 1. Ford F-150
- 2. Dodge Ram 1500
- 3. Chevrolet Silverado
- 4. Toyota RAV4
- 5. Honda CR-V
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How Do I Keep My Car From Being Hacked?
Just as you take steps to protect your car’s belongings from theft, you should also act to defend it from potential cybersecurity risks. With the technology used in vehicles today, your car’s CPU and other systems are just as vulnerable as your family computer is to viruses, bugs, and hackers. To help combat against this, consider the following recommendations:
- Connect with the manufacturer. One of the most critical steps to protect yourself from being hacked is ensuring the manufacturer has your contact information. If there is a necessary update or tech-related recall, they can reach you. You can also stay up-to-date on vehicle recalls by checking SaferCar.gov.
- Update the software. Check with your dealer and ask about current firmware updates and corrections to embedded software bugs that can make your vehicle vulnerable to hackers. You can also enable automatic updates to help keep any software and internal systems up-to-date.
- Turn off your Bluetooth function. Most vehicles now have Bluetooth capability. So when you aren’t using it, make sure you turn it off. Leaving it on could result in a data attack and cause a security breach or device crash. Additionally, be aware of the devices you have paired with your vehicle. A hacker can expose any information you upload into your system, like passwords, driving patterns, and credit card information.
- Use safety devices and protect your password. Storing your key fob in a metal box or a blocking pouch or wrapping it in aluminum foil may help stop a hacker from accessing it. According to GlobalSecurityIQ, aluminum foil can prevent someone from unlocking your car doors or starting the engine remotely. Another solution is to simply lock your car in the garage if you have one. Concerning your password, make sure you don’t leave the information in your vehicle for someone to find. Keep password safe elsewhere.
What Are Possible Electronic Repairs My Cars Could Face?
All vehicles are vulnerable to breakdowns, whether a security problem causes the issue or not. Therefore, one of the most significant concerns is ensuring your car has an active factory warranty or other vehicle protection plan in place. Without solid coverage, you could face hefty repair bills.
Let’s look at a few examples of what you could pay out-of-pocket for electronics-related car issues without a vehicle protection plan:
|ABS control module replacement||$2,116–$2,127|
|Backup warning system sensor replacement||$318–$355|
|Antitheft system diagnosis and testing||$44–$56|
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
|ABS control module replacement||$506–$609|
|Park assist camera replacement||$484–$501|
|Antitheft system control module replacement||$300–$332|
|Park assist camera replacement||$1,046–$1,058|
|Anti-lock brake system (ABS) diagnosis||$80–$101|
|Anti Theft system diagnosis & testing||$44–$56|
Derived from RepailPal.com
Stay Safe With Extended Warranty Coverage
Although the primary goal of self-driving technology and other innovative auto advancements is road safety, there is still much to be improved. However, you can still protect yourself from unexpected breakdowns and costly repair bills with an extended auto warranty.
If your manufacturer’s warranty has or is close to expiring, the best time to invest in extended coverage is now. Check with your dealership if you aren’t sure, and then visit our top warranty program picks to find the right coverage plan for you.