Can Buying a Used Car Put Your Safety at Risk?

Did you know that management apps can stay linked to owners' phones even after the vehicle is sold to someone else? It happened to IBM researcher Charles Henderson. His phone stayed connected to his old car years after he sold it.

"The car is really smart, but it's not smart enough to know who its owner is, so it's not smart enough to know it's been resold," Henderson told CNNTech. "There's nothing on the dashboard that tells you 'the following people have access to the car.'" He also stated that manufacturers and car dealerships had no way to disconnect car apps.
 

As you may know, automotive manufacturers create apps to control smart cars, and they do this for your convenience. Nowadays, you can use your phone to lock and unlock your vehicle and even find out the exact location of your car or where you parked. When Henderson took his personal information off of these services before selling it back to the dealership, he was still able to control the car through a mobile app for years afterward.
 

If you’re an IoT consumer, here are just a few things you could do to keep yourself safe:

  • Even though factory resets aren’t perfect, they’re still a good practice.
  • Don’t assume you are the only authorized user of a smart device. Make sure you verify this information.
  • Do a little security testing of your own.
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