Last week, I was leaving the house when I found my next door neighbor sitting on her driveway with tears streaming down her face.
She told me her brand new car was stolen again. Her last car was stolen three months ago, and she has been frustrated that police haven't been able to do anything about it.
Of course, cars are not cheap, especially newer models, and for my neighbor to have to invest her money in another car that could be stolen again is ridiculous.
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but that's not always the case.
According to Sky News, police data reveals that there has been a 30% increase in car thefts over the past few years.
Security experts say thieves are catching up with modern vehicle security systems and are able to steal vehicles without needing the keys.
"As the car is more digitally connected, obviously that opens it up to new types of criminality. When you have keyless-type vehicles where you physically just press a button and walk away, you've got the risk now of the signal being captured," Steve Launchbury, of Thatcham Research, told the news outlet.
How the thieves do it
These keyless fobs can be easily compromised when thieves amplify the signal of your fob to make it turn on, even when the device is nowhere close to the car.
And according to USA Today, copying these fob codes is happening more often, and the auto industry just isn't doing much about it.
How you can protect your car
These particular car thefts are more common at night.
An inexpensive way to protect your car is to store the fob in a coffee can at night.
This will disrupt the signal, preventing thieves from getting access to the code.
During the day
As for the other hours of the day, wrap your car keys in tin foil.
“Although it's not ideal, it is the most inexpensive way,” Holly Hubert, a former cybersecurity expert, told USA Today. “The cyber threat is so dynamic and ever changing, it’s hard for consumers to keep up.”
If you're willing to spend a few dollars to protect your car, Faraday Bags block electromagnetic fields better than tin foil.
In the meantime, aluminum foil might end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars.
Just make sure you wrap your key fob thoroughly to block the signal!