Protect Your Privacy When You Trade In Your Vehicle


We live in the information age, in my opinion that's incredibly exciting. We have access to almost all the information in human history simply by pulling our phones out of our pockets and looking it up. It truly is an exciting time to be alive. The downside to this age is that some of the information out there is personal. More more people are concerned, and rightly so, for the safety and security of their personal and private information.

One area where many people might not think to safeguard their privacy is when they are trading in a vehicle or turning in a lease. There are some very important steps I recommend you take in order to make sure that your information isn't floating around out there in the world after your vehicle is no longer in your possession.

The first step I recommend you take is clearing the "Home" destination from your vehicle's navigation system. The process of doing this is different for each vehicle so you might need to consult your owners manual or your friendly neighborhood technology specialist in order to ensure this is done correctly. The danger here is a stranger having access to exactly where you live, which can be kind of unnerving. In fact, I typically recommend people don't save their actual home address as their "Home" destination on the navigation system. I typically recommend people choose a landmark nearby so that if someone does get their vehicle before the navigation is cleared that person won't have access to their address. I usually recommend a pizzeria, gas station, or nearby coffee shop as a good option.

 I've written previously about how to pair your HomeLink universal garage door opener built into your vehicle with your garage door. This is really convenient technology but another privacy idea to consider is clearing that garage door code from your car before you turn it in. This is accomplished simply by holding the two outside HomeLink garage door buttons down for about 20 seconds, or until the little light rapidly flashes. This is especially important to do the long side taking your "Home" destination out of your navigation. If you do neither of these things whoever buys your car on trade could conceivably drive to your home and open your garage. I've never heard of an instance where its happened, but it's never a bad idea to protect yourself.

My final piece of advice is the simplest. Before becoming a Technology specialist I was a sales person at one of our dealerships. More often than not customers when trading a vehicle would not take paperwork out of their glove box. At best the paperwork in your glove box will contain your name address phone number and insurance information, but frequently I saw that people had put all the paperwork from their original purchase in the glove box and left it there the entire life of the vehicle. So when these people trade it in their cars and left all the paperwork behind they left names, addresses, phone, numbers, Social Security numbers, bank loan information, and more! My best advice would be don't leave paperwork from the original purchase in the glove box in the first place, but also make sure it's all cleared out before it's time to take delivery of your new ride.

Sales people do a fantastic job of going over the vehicles again to make sure any left behind information doesn't stay with the vehicle, but the best way to be sure that your information is safeguarded is by taking these precautionary steps yourself. But the rise of identity theft and an identity related crimes it's more and more important to be vigilant with our information. If there's anything that we can do to assist in the process, we're glad to do it.

Categories: Technology


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