Renting a car this Christmas? Advice about Bluetooth Pairing

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Renting a car this Christmas? Read this before pairing your smartphone via Bluetooth

If you are thinking of renting a car this Christmas, you may want to think twice before you pair your smartphone or Bluetooth device to the car’s Bluetooth interface.

The car’s onboard computer remembers your device so it can quickly connect any time in the future, storing your call log and all dialled contacts. This basically means that all the data that has been transferred from your phone to the car can now be accessed by anyone who may rent the car after you have returned it.  This leaves your personal data vulnerable and your personal information at risk.

While there are risks associated with data connectivity to smart devices, there are some precautions that you can take to avoid passing on any personal data to the next driver who happens to hire the same car.

Before returning the rental car:

  • Go to Bluetooth settings
  • Select your device
  • Delete device from list of devices
  • If you are not Tech Savy, don’t worry, just…
  • Ask someone in rental company to assist you

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If the vehicle has a GPS system, it will remember all its recent destinations, so make sure you clear your history and favourite spots. You certainly do not want the next renter showing up at your granny’s house for the Christmas dinner.

It is quite easy for a hacker to infiltrate a car’s Bluetooth system . If that were to happen, they could potentially access any of your stored information which has been left in the car connected devices database.

The best way to avoid any data breach issues when renting a hired car is to not connect up at all to the car’s Bluetooth system but this could be quite inconvenient. Using an auxiliary cable to listen to podcasts or playlists can also leave yourself vulnerable to accessing private information, so that is something to be aware of as well.

If you are worried about protecting your personal data, you can always use a cigarette lighter charger to power your mobile when the battery is low and you could always purchase a Bluetooth speaker attachment like this one for when you receive a phone call or want to listen to music.

 

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