As technology progresses, our lives become more convenient. But typically speaking, this new convenience comes at a price, and it most often means compromising safety and privacy in favor of this newfound convenience. Our new cars are no exception to this rule.
Used to be “back in the day” that we old-timers had to do crazy labor intensive things like unlock our cars by sticking a physical key in the slot, or start our cars by inserting this same physical key into the ignition.
But now? Why, all we have to do is push a button and viola - instant access!
As already mentioned, though, these wireless remote keyless entry systems (that’s a mouthful) leave our vehicles vulnerable to car theft, and hackers and would-be car thieves have figured out a way to clone the signal from our wireless keys and open and start the ignition without us even knowing!
That’s why we’re all going to need to use a key fob guard or key fob protector moving forward as all of these car companies use them now and the technology isn’t going away anytime soon - nor does it sound like their security is of much priority to the car manufacturers.
As is typical these days, the consumer has to take matters into their own hands.
To be clear, a key fob guard and Faraday key fob case are two names for the exact same item. What it does is create a Faraday cage around your remote entry key, and this prevents the signal from the key from traveling too far and into the hands of the car thieves.
The most prevalent method that car thieves are using involves two perpetrators in what is called a “relay attack.” One perp stands within 100 meters (yes, that far away) of you when you push a button on your key, and using an inexpensive radio device with a targeted antennae, captures your wireless entry system’s frequency.
Inside of this frequency is a unique code that is relayed from the first perp to the second, who is now standing near your car after you have walked away. The second perp has another wireless device that takes your code and repeats it to your car, which now thinks your key has just been used.
This second perp can now open your car, and in many models even start the ignition.
All of this happens in under 30 seconds.
A second type of similar attack uses a remote device that can amplify your key’s signals without you even having to touch a button. They have to be closer to you than the 100 meters of the first device, but the fact remains that you could be sitting in the coffee shop, and thieves could steal your car parked right out front in under a minute.
That is why it is extremely important that you keep your wireless entry key inside the key fob protector *at all times* when not in use, and scan the parking lot everywhere you go for unsavory characters that look like they are hunting. Trust your instincts and give yourself peace of mind by taking this extra precaution.
Interesting follow-up question. I can only assume the thought of your new car getting stolen without any forced entry or even so much as a fingerprint has brought you to the following conclusion: I need a key fob protector!
Yes. Yes you do.
OK, most simply put, our key fob guard is a Faraday cage. The purpose of a Faraday cage, named after its inventor - Michael Faraday - is to conduct signals or frequencies around an object or to contain them inside so they cannot escape.
That said, when you put your wireless entry key into the Faraday key fob case, ALL signals are blocked to and from said key. Your unique code cannot escape and nothing can penetrate it.
Practical application for this is to keep your key in the Faraday key fob case at all times except for when you pull it out to use it. Even then, if you stand right next to your car, open the case and pull the key out just far enough to reach the button, the distance your code will travel is lessened greatly.
That helps to prevent someone from standing halfway across the parking lot while stealing your code. They’ll have to be much closer, and hopefully this gives you a better chance at preventing the theft in the first place.