If you’re driving a new or nearly new car, odds are it knows quite a bit about you. Much like phones, most new cars are “smart” and come equipped with high-tech car features such as Bluetooth connectivity and in-dash navigation systems. If you use these high-tech car features (and sometimes even if you don’t), they can store personal information that a thief or valet could then access for nefarious purposes.
The information stored by high-tech car features can include:
- Your home address
- The places you’ve visited
- Contact information for everyone you know
- Personal emails and text messages
- Details about your speed, braking and seat belt use
Protecting your automotive privacy
If the thought of having that information accessible to others bothers you, there are some steps you can take to protect your privacy.
- Activate “valet mode.” This is probably the simplest way to protect your in-car information, if your car comes equipped with the feature. Valet mode works the same way as locking a smartphone and requires a four-digit pin number to be entered before the car’s infotainment system can be accessed.
- Turn off Bluetooth connectivity. Most in-car systems won’t display your phone contacts, emails or texts unless your phone is currently connected via Bluetooth. If you turn off this feature when leaving your car with a valet, your phone-related information will be secure.
- Don’t save your home address. If you’re concerned about someone finding where you live by checking the location stored in your navigation system, you can program a nearby intersection as your home address. The directions will work the same except for the last few blocks, which you can navigate by yourself.
- Know your EDR rights. Event data recorders, or EDRs, record your seat belt use, speed and braking data in the event of a collision. Such data cannot be accessed, even by an insurance company, unless you grant them permission.
At Swapalease.com, we connect buyers with thousands of available lease vehicles that have the latest high-tech car features and privacy settings. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
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