Is It Safe to Control Your Car with Your Phone?
Waking up in the morning during cold weather, you can really begin to understand just what a beautiful thing a remote starter is for your car. Similarly, being able to crank the windows down while you’re walking to your vehicle in the summer is a great way to avoid having to open the doors and air everything out for ten minutes (especially if you’ve got vinyl or leather seats, like my mom’s Oldsmobile did- ouch!) before you get in. All this convenience, however, comes with a price. Just how safe is it to unlock your car doors from a hundred yards away with your cell phone?
It’s not hard to imagine the risks inherent in opening your windows or unlocking your car remotely. With some companies offering to allow you to lock, unlock, start, or stop your car via cell phone (thereby offering you unlimited range, as opposed to remote controls that require you to be within a certain distance of your car) , it’s possible to put yourself in an unsafe situation. Cell phones are also small. They are not attached to your keys, and are frequently lost or stolen, presenting another host of potential issues if your phone should be taken without your knowledge.
Fortunately, however, companies that offer these services have accounted for that, to a degree. Some services now are beyond remote starting and stopping. You can even get GPS tracking, automatic windows, automatic doors, and even the ability to shut your car down completely in the event of a theft. While those won’t help you in some situations, coupling these security features with some common-sense precautions can go far towards protecting you, your car, and your family. For starters, only using the remote starting option while your doors are locked, the windows are closed, and your vehicle is in view can prevent theft, while not unlocking your car until you are outdoors and nearby can allow you to see a potential carjacking situation before it occurs.
Unlike a key fob, your cell phone allows you to use these conveniences and security features at any time, from any distance, whether you want to unlock your car in the grocery store parking lot, or shut it down after it‘s been stolen. There really isn’t a way to prevent absolutely every kind of danger from happening, but added security features help the convenience of things like remote starting and automatic door locks come without the price of security.
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