Many of us spend a considerable amount of time in our vehicles.  That likely contributes to a certain “comfort level’, which may then lead to leaving information, or access to it, in the vehicle.  There are several opportunities there for criminals!

First, the vehicle itself – stolen, then shipped overseas, or stripped down in a “chop shop” somewhere.  Always lock your vehicle and in urban centres, use the button, not your remote lock.  (We’ will look at that situation in another issue in this series of articles.)

Second, the information in your vehicle.  Vehicle Registration and related documents can be used by criminals to identify information specifically about you.  If they steal your vehicle and in it you have documents which identify your home, they now know of a possible “break and enter” opportunity.  If you leave the garage door opener in the vehicle, they now have a convenient way to get inside at least some of your property.

Third, technology, the most common type involved is a laptop.  A significant portion of data breaches, second only to hacking into data files, is the theft of laptop computers, often from vehicles.  Some of those laptops contain vast quantities of personal information.

Fourth, and one of the newest risks, is GPS technology.  Many GPS owners leave the devices in their vehicle at all times – just waiting for a vehicle thief.  The biggest risk is for those who program their home address into the GPS device.  Now the vehicle thieves can be guided directly to the owner’s home.  A thief would feel especially fortunate if a vehicle contained both the GPS device programmed for the owner’s home, plus the garage door opener to let them in upon arrival!

Reduce the risk of losing your own personal information and that of those individuals who have information on your equipment, by not leaving the information or the devices containing that information, in unattended vehicles.  That is particularly important in long-term parking situations.  At an airport for example, a vehicle thief would have your vehicle, equipment and even the knowledge that there is likely no one in your home!

Remove that information and equipment from your vehicles- reduce your risk!

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