Everything around us is getting smarter and more technologically advanced. The talk about self-driving cars is not sci-fi thinking anymore, it’s actually just around the corner. However, just as things become increasingly technological and interconnected, the danger of hacking becomes more prevalent. Just as your smartphone could be hacked, your smart car might suffer a similar fate.
How do you keep driving safe on the round and prevent hacking? Here are ten ways you can hack-proof your smart car and enjoy driving to the full.
1. Keep your firmware updated
The best and most effective way to protect your smart car is by keeping your firmware updated. You want to regularly check if new software and other firmware updates are available. Do this through the car’s system and don’t forget to check with your car manufacturer for more details.
2. Learn everything about your car
Knowing how your car works and which parts are vulnerable to hacking will help you keep it safe. It’s important to read the car manual fully and browse smart car information online before the purchase – as well as after it. Being educated about your car and the way it connects to the internet will help you understand when and where the threat is the highest.
3. Turn off unused services
Smart cars have many functions. While most are cool to have, you might notice you don’t even use half of the functions after the first few weeks. If this is the case, you should disable the unused services.
For example, if you’re not using the Bluetooth connectivity to connect your car and your smartphone, you should disable it. The more you have unused connections open, the easier it might be for the hackers to use them as gateway to the car.
4.Pick a good car brand
You can also hack-proof your car by driving with a proper smart car. What’s a good smart car? Tesla or General Motors are among the top. The reason is they improve the car’s defences by allowing hackers to try attacking the car’s system. This gives them a better way of understanding the vulnerabilities and getting rid of them.
5. Use only trusted mechanics
When it comes to repairing your car, don’t just drive to a random garage. Viruses can be uploaded on the on-board diagnostic program by physically reprogramming the system. Therefore, make sure only trusted brands repair and tweak your car. A good option is to use brands like Kwik Fit. You can use Kwik Fit promo codes to make sure car servicing doesn’t cost a fortune, but also doesn’t leave you vulnerable to hacking.
6. Don’t lock the doors remotely
You might find it easy to walk away from the car and simply press the button on your way to lock the doors. However, this provides hackers an easier way to get into the car – you should always lock the doors the old-fashioned way. So, stop using the fob to close the door and instead use the central door lock button to close the vehicle.
7. Don’t have password information in the car
Of course, hacking doesn’t just have to happen remotely. Someone could steal your car and upload viruses or tamper with your car’s electronics. The key is to make sure you don’t store password information in the car. If you can’t remember your internal car passwords, try to find another way to remind yourself of the password rather than writing it down on a piece of paper.
8. Avoid plugging random USBs to the dashboard
Smart cars often offer USB connectivity. However, this is one way of someone getting into your car’s system. You want to avoid plugging random USBs to the dashboard to avoid uploading something unwanted into your car’s system. So, if a friend offers you a USB stick, just say ‘no’. It’s better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to smart car security.
9. Don’t waste money on plug-play antivirus products
You might find plenty of plug and play antivirus products on the market. These can come with a hefty price tag and hardly ever have the desired effect on protecting your car. Manufacturers already have the best tools available and they will include all the latest antivirus software they can – you’ll just be wasting money at this point if you choose to buy these.
10. Invest in a proper OBD lock
There is one thing you do want to buy and that’s a proper OBD lock. OBD stands for on-board diagnostic and as mentioned above, it’s one way the bad guys could get inside your car’s system. You can buy an OBD lock that makes accessing the system much harder.
So, buying a smart car is a great decision. However, you do need to be mindful of the risks and be aware that bad guys are out there – your car might be vulnerable to hacking.
The good news is that with the above tips and tricks, you can hack-proof your smart car and keep yourself safe on the road.