You might think you know all the steps to protecting your car from thieves. Parking in a well-lit area, keeping the doors locked at all times, and having an alarm can all help protect your car from criminals. Unfortunately, with new technology comes new methods of car theft. Unless your car is protected from key theft, it may not be as safe as you think.
Key Blueprint Apps and Online Locksmiths
In the old days, copying your car key was pretty difficult for potential thieves to do. They needed to have the key on them and take it to a locksmith. The process of molding and casting a new key would take hours, which meant plenty of time for you to realize what had happened and catch them in the act.
Nowadays, getting a copy of any key is frightfully easy. Some websites offer key-casting services to anyone who can send in a few photos of a key. You don't even have to prove that the key belongs to you. Even worse, some cellphone apps allow you to create blueprints for a new key just from one or two photos. These blueprints can then be taken to any locksmith, and the thief can claim to have lost a key and need a new one made.
How Can You Protect Your Car?
If your key is compromised, it's a cinch for your car to be stolen unless you take preventative steps. For example, if you normally keep your keys on a lanyard or hanging from your belt loop, you might want to consider getting them a protective case to hide them from ne'er-do-wells, or simply consigning them to your pocket or purse. Another inexpensive solution is to replace your traditional key ring with a key organizer styled like a pocket knife. While this may look intimidating, it keeps your key safely hidden when you aren't using it.
For more comprehensive anti-theft protection, you could also invest in an immobilizer and accompanying transponder key (look at http://www.alocksmithriverside.com to see an example) for your car. This system sends a signal to your ignition every time the car starts. If the transponder isn't on the key and the signal isn't returned, your car will shut off or just refuse to start, disappointing any clever thieves that might get a non-transponder copy of your key.
Modern technology is a boon in many ways, but it unfortunately also allows thieves to get a copy of your car key if you aren't careful. Consider taking steps to hide your key or disable your car when a thief tries to steal it, and hopefully you can outwit even the smartest of criminals.