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Midday Fix: Tips for protecting your digital footprint when using rental cars

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Hillard Heintze, LLC
30 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago
www.hillardheintze.com

What happens when you connect a Bluetooth device to a rental car?

In-car software may download your info (i.e., address book, text messages, emails)
Your data remains stored within the vehicle
No guarantee the rental company will reset device
Also applies to vehicles we loan, sell or trade in; personal info remains stored unless data is removed

What security concerns does this pose to individuals who rent cars?
Next car renter could access prior renter's information (i.e., addresses, phone numbers, text messages, emails)
New renter may also get info about prior renter’s travel patterns from stored addresses in car’s navigation system

What are the personal safety risks?
Strangers could communicate with individuals in your contacts without your consent
People could misuse emails or text messages stored on the vehicle’s computer
Your address book could reveal where you live or work –and a stranger could show up at those locations

What can drivers do to prevent this type of access?
Reset onboard computer back to factory reset, typically through the Settings menu
Ask rental company employees for assistance
Verify the process is successfully completed
Take the same precaution when selling or trading your vehicles