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One critical thing every car owner needs to know to prevent theft

One critical thing every car owner needs to know to prevent theft
© Tommaso79 | Dreamstime.com

We've been telling you about always-on devices, like Amazon's virtual assistant Echo, that are always listening for your voice. We also told you how to turn them off, which in the case of Echo is simply by pressing the mute button when you don't want it listening to you.

But did you know your car is always listening, too? Well, not for your voice, but for an electronic signal. It might be the coded "unlock" signal from your electronic key fob. If it's a newer model, you might not have to press any buttons. Just approach your car and the doors will unlock. In some cars, the engine will even turn on.

If you have an automatic key fob, you know it's really convenient. If you've ever been carrying a baby, or grocery bags, it's really nice to be able to open the door without putting everything down to pull out your keys.

However, that convenience comes at a price. Specifically, the key fob's signal is easy for criminals to intercept. That lets them open your car without setting off any alarms. If you have a true keyless car model, they might be able to just drive away.

Let's look at how criminals pull this off and what you can do to keep your car safe.

Next page: How criminals break into keyless cars
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