Newer Cars are Like Smartphones. Treat Your Stored Personal Information the Same Way.

When we get a new phone, we are often told to clear the data off our old devices before trading them in, but what about our cars? Whether you are selling your car or returning a rental, it’s important to keep in mind what information is left behind. If you don’t, the next person in the driver’s seat has access to a lot of your personal information.

The entertainment consoles inside vehicles get more hi-tech every year. Depending on what kind of vehicle you are driving, it can store information like your phone’s contact list, data gathered in your smartphone apps and addresses stored in your GPS’ memory. The vehicle could even still be paired with your garage door opener. If an unscrupulous person were to have to that information, they could easily find your home and have access to your garage door.

Keep this in mind when returning a rental. According to USA Today, most major car rental agencies place the responsibility of deleting user information on the customer.

Resetting and removing your information is slightly different for each make and model, but it is generally a straightforward process. You can go to the system settings or Bluetooth menu and follow the steps to delete your device. Otherwise, you can refer to the owner’s manual or call the vehicle’s manufacturer. In the end, it’s a few extra minutes that could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

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