The techniques thieves use to steal your car have evolved over the years, often mirroring or utilising the technology the cars themselves have adopted.
In the 1980s when car ownership, and therefore car theft, was beginning to skyrocket, the method was fairly simplistic. Thieves would either smash a window or put a screwdriver into your door lock to gain entry, then break your ignition barrel, hot-wire the car and drive away.
This was the age of bright yellow steering wheel locks, wheel clamps and gear-stick locks which aimed to deter these brutal attacks. As cars became more sophisticated, so did the method the thieves would use.
Fast forward to today, the brute force attacks whilst they have not disappeared completely, thieves employ a whole raft of far more advanced techniques to get into your car and drive it away. One of the most devious of these is known as key cloning
WHAT IS KEY CLONING?
Key cloning, as the name suggests, is the process of creating a perfect copy of your car key by cloning its electronic signature. This obviously will only work on cars that have keyless entry or remote locking, but that’s standard on almost all modern cars these days.
You might be wondering how thieves get a hold of your keys to create a clone of it, but they’re one step ahead of you.
Thieves will look for any location where you are separated from, not only your car but also your keys for an extended period. This could be at a less-reputable car repair garage or when using valet parking or cleaning services. In fact anywhere where you have to leave your key behind and they can gain access to it.
Once they have it, even for a short period, they can begin the process of duplicating the data held within.
Even without your key, thieves can also utilise your car’s OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) port to clone your key. You can read more about how thieves can hijack the OBD port on a previous blog linked here.
HOW IS KEY CLONING DONE?
As the technology within our cars has evolved, so too have the tools thieves use to steal them. Key cloning is no exception. All they need is a transponder, some blank keys and the cloning machine.
Once thieves have your key, they may try and steal the car immediately, steal it later in the day or even wait for you to return and follow you home and steal it from your property when you are inside.
The equipment they need to clone your key isn’t as hard to find as you might think. The same systems are used by legitimate garages and locksmiths who may need to help you get into your car if you lost your keys and need to create a new one. It’s when it’s used by nefarious types that the problems start.
These devices are relatively cheap to buy and quick to use and, once they have the equipment, they can use it again and again on hundreds, if not thousands of other potential victims.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF?
As with any type of car security, the more weapons you have in your arsenal to protect your vehicle, the better and safer it will be.
Obviously, if you absolutely have to leave your car keys with someone else, make sure it’s a reputable business you’re using and, where possible, fit something to your car that lets you know what’s happening with your vehicle when you’re not around. The perfect solution for that is a tracker.
Trackers will help you locate your vehicle when you’re not present via a dedicated smartphone app. You can get alerts when it’s started or moved and see it in real time.
All of the trackers in our store will offer this functionality, but if you really want to go one step further, then you’ll need a system that also blocks the OBD port, rendering it useless.
Whilst it won’t stop them from copying your key (let’s face it, nothing can guarantee that 100% of the time), it does remove an option for would-be thieves, rendering your car a less attractive proposition.
Each one of them gives you the peace of mind to know that your car will be as secure as it can be. However, should the worst happen and it is stolen, each one comes with a raft of alerts and notifications so you can track it and liaise with the respective 24/7 control centre and/or Police forces to ensure your car is located and returned to you as quickly as possible.
Car security has always and probably will always be a game of cat-and-mouse between thieves and the security devices designed to thwart them. As security improves, thieves will always try and find a way around it, but with any of the trackers we sell here at Infiniti, you know that it’s a game you’re more likely to win with us on your side.
⚬ We have a wide range of trackers to suit every budget, every vehicle and every circumstance.
⚬ Installation is available anywhere in the mainland UK.
⚬ We have a team of experts ready to help you make the right decision when it comes to securing your car.
If you’re looking to take the first steps to secure your vehicle, then please know we’re available Monday to Friday between 9 am – 6 pm on 0330 043 3993 to answer any of your queries. Give us a call and let’s get your car, van, motorbike or motorhome fitted with one of our incredible trackers before it’s too late.