For the overwhelming majority of us, cars represent one of the most significant assets we have. They play an essential role in our day to day lives and, aside from our homes, they will be tantamount to some of the biggest investments we make in our lifetimes – and yet there seems to be a growing discordancy between the significant risk of loss, and the measures we take to protect ourselves against it.
To put that into perspective, consider the fact that the AA recently discovered that around 25% of UK drivers do not think about car crime, and, yet more worryingly, that 10% of people believed that today’s technologically advanced cars were theft-proof.
Cars still represent a potentially lucrative opportunity to would-be thieves – a fact which means that our decreasing concern for protecting our cars against theft stems from an inherent belief in the security features implemented within modern vehicles. And, unfortunately, as our interest in car crime dwindles, we enter into a vicious cycle wherein news stories fade from the fore, and no information that would change our minds is able to reach us.
In reality, car theft remains an all-too-common occurrence for car owners and businesses utilising fleets of vehicles alike, meaning that anyone who is not aware of the risk – and cognisant of the additional measures one can take to ensure advanced protection against potential targeting – is at risk.
Security: In-Built Vs Additional
It is true that modern cars come equipped with more safety features than the cars built just a few years ago, but advancements are consistently being made elsewhere – beyond the manufacturer’s production line – and only by deploying these cutting-edge devices can car or fleet owners feel fully protected.
One of the best examples can be found in car alarms. An advanced alarm system will feature a cutting-edge GPS car tracker, and cloud-based monitoring system, capable of placing security alerts squarely within the car owner’s hands, rather than blaring a meaningless alarm or issuing notifications via a middleman. This level of security is essential to anyone who wants to ensure that their car’s monitoring is up to the task of alerting them to any potential issues – whether the car is being moved, or simply tested for a point of entry.
When we consider the fact that one of the strongest lines of defense our cars hold against thieves is its ability to alert disinterested bystanders to a potential threat that, in their minds, is likely a false alarm, it becomes clear quite how vulnerable our vehicles are when they first exit the dealer’s forecourt. It is a truth widely acknowledged that car alarms are highly ineffectual – and yet they continue to be deployed as a major line of defense in today’s modern cars.
Understanding Why the Threat Persists
As mentioned above, one of the strongest reasons behind cars’ vulnerabilities to theft is the fact that we put our faith in the basic security measures put in place by manufacturers, and believe that they are up to the task of stopping would-be car thieves in their tracks. It creates a widespread complacency that, unfortunately, only makes things easier for criminals. If awareness over the continued underperformance of factory features were more widespread, so too would the deployment of advanced features capable of stopping a potential theft in its tracks.
Yet another reason why the threat of car theft persists is the lucrative potential for thieves. As inherent security measures evolve, so too do the techniques being deployed by criminals. No more do they rely on the stereotype of the coat hanger jammed down the drivers’ side window – these days, they are able to deploy much more advanced techniques to get what they want.
Relay attacks, for instance, refer to instances where a thief is able to infiltrate a car that allows for keyless entry. Many car owners do not realise that these attacks are relatively simply for thieves with the right equipment – and that their cars are not always equipped to recognise when they are taking place.
Modern cars are not, as standard, equipped to protect themselves against the sophisticated attacks serial car thieves are capable of deploying – which means that, until car owners can appreciate the severity of the risk and seek to address it with advanced technology, we are all highly vulnerable to losing our vehicles to thieves.