Top Tips to Tackle Keyless Theft

Written by Simon

4th October 2019

Keyless theft, also known as relay theft, is a technique currently on the rise that criminals are now using to allow them to break into keyless cars and drive them into the sunset in as fast as 60 seconds.

In recent years, criminals have begun to get their hands on new technology to do just this – and their methods are simple. Once they have spotted your car, the thieves simply use their technology to amplify the RF signal (that unlocks your car) emitted by the key inside your house. If the signals are detected from inside your home, they are sent to a transmitter located nearby to the car. The transmitter will pick up and emit these signals, acting as a keyless car itself; unlocking the car and welcoming the criminals straight inside.

With the production of keyless cars on the rise and incidents of theft of this kind skyrocketing in recent years, how can we protect ourselves in a world of keyless criminals?

How to protect your keyless car

1. Check your car has locked

Although this may seem like a simple step, ensuring your doors are securely locked every time your car is left unattended is crucial – especially in a world where new technology can do anything!

Some advanced criminal gadgets are able to jam the signal from your key that locks the car, meaning the doors are left unlocked even if you’ve pressed the lock button.

So, make sure every time you lock-up, you look out for the flash of lights and listen for the clunk of locks to ensure those doors stay shut! If in doubt, double-check the door handles, just to be sure.

2. Store them away

Keep your keys out of sight, in a secure place away from your car to avoid the reach of these transmitters. That means keeping your keys away from the front door, perhaps in a kitchen at the back of the house or in your bedroom – somewhere away from your car or any intruders willing to chance a break-in.

It’s also worth removing valuables from your car when it’s left unattended, so your car looks less tempting for opportunist thieves. This includes anything from satellite navigation systems (not forgetting their residual marks left behind on your windscreen), handbags, important documents, equipment or electronics – and that doesn’t just mean hiding them in your glove compartment!

Be sure to NEVER leave any keys in your car either, as it will likely void your insurance policy if you were to ever make a claim.

If you’re looking for a new set of spare keys, Keyishoes have you covered. Our high-quality key cutting and auto-locksmith services will have your spare key made in no time! Get in touch with us for more information.

3. Switch it off

With theft of this kind on the rise, having the ability to switch off your keyless remote will give you more control over your car’s accessibility. It’s worth investing in an RFID signal blocker pouch or a professional Keyless Protector to stop the RF signals from being emitted, so criminals cannot detect and draw on these signals to unlock your car.

At Keyishoes, we supply RFID key pouches and specialist Keyless Protectors that help prevent relay attacks from occurring.

Keyless Protector available at Keyishoes

RFID key pouches available at Keyishoes

An RFID key pouch is an affordable solution to prevent the identification, capture and exploitation of the RF signal emitted by the key fob by criminals.

On the other hand, the Keyless Protector uses advanced technology, with an ultra-thin circuit board that wraps around the vehicle remote key battery. The technology can then detect when the key is not in use and blocks the signal from your remote keys when it’s not needed. To reactivate the key, all that’s needed is a double-tap either in your pocket or bag. Once activated, all vehicle functionality resumes, including keyless entry and Start/Stop Keyless ignition.

Designed to keep all the convenience of keyless technologies but eliminating the relay attack risks that come with it, the Keyless Protector is one of the best solutions on the market to resolve keyless entry car theft!

Here’s a video of how thieves are stealing people’s cars in seconds:

CNN Business reviews video footage released by West Midlands Police of thieves conducting a relay attack on a keyless car.

4. Accessorise

GPS tracking devices, although not helping to prevent the theft of your car, will mean you can track your vehicle’s location in real-time if it is stolen. It’s a good idea to keep your car’s software and technology up to date to avoid greater susceptibility to hackers.

Other traditional methods of security could include a steering wheel lock. This is a bar that locks onto your wheel with a key, which cannot be removed without the key and prevents any movement of the steering wheel when in use. The purpose of this is to ensure that even if thieves gain access to your car, without being able to steer, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Better safe than sorry!

5. Cover up

Out of sight, out of mind. Parking your car in a secure garage prevents the temptation of any criminals. Don’t own a garage? No problem! You may want to consider a car cover to make stealing your car a much more difficult task, hiding those shiny wheels from wandering eyes and increasing the time it’ll take to get into your car.

Summary

With these tips, we hope that your keyless car remains in your hands. Although there’s always a risk of theft, these safety precautions will ensure that you’re taking the best and most effective measures to protect your valuables. 

Have you been a victim of car theft? Leave a comment with any other suggestions you have!

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