It could compromise all of your personal information.
Towson, Md (KM). We often don’t think about it, but keeping our vehicles in sync with our mobile phones can make us vulnerable. This process makes it convenient for drivers to dial out and receive calls hands-free, along with streaming music and browsing the web. But AAA Mid-Atlantic reminds us that a lot of personal information is contained in your vehicle which can be accessed by others.
“Particularly, if you trade your car in; if you use that phone to sync to a rental car; even if you hand your car keys to a valet; What you may not be thinking about of is that you can potentially open yourself up to having your personal information exposed, and possibly stolen,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager, Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Some of the personal information that could be stolen is “your home address; your work address; other frequently saved locations that may be stored in your GPS system; your home phone number; your call and your message log; your personal contacts; your text messages,” says Averella.
“These are all important things that in the wrong hands of the wrong person could compromise your privacy as well as your safety,” she says.
AAA says it’s important to limit access to your personal information. When you turn over your vehicle to a valet for parking, make sure it has a Valet Mode that will protect your personal data..
When renting a car, the auto club says charge up your cell phone with the cigarette lighter instead of USB. The lighter has no access to your information. AAA also says use your phone’s GPS instead of syncing it up with the rental vehicle.
Before you sell or trade in your car, the auto club says go to the setting on your car’s system to find a list of synced devices; and delete all personal information from those devices. If you’re not sure how to do it, check with the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Averella says it’s important to carefully guard all of this information in your vehicle. “You wouldn’t leave your Social Security card just lying on a bench and walking away,” she says. . “You wouldn’t leave your smart phone unlocked in a crowded airport terminal or something like that. So you need to be mindful of that.”
By Kevin McManus