Are you planning on renting a car for your next vacation or streaming a music playlist via the rental’s Bluetooth? If so, there are some things to keep in mind about the ever-important transfer of data — including potential dangers. Read on to discover the best practices for keeping your personal data safe when using rentals, borrowed, or hired cars.
What a Connected Car Receives From Your Phone
If you’re hung up on whether or not your car can receive more information from your phone, the answer is “yes.” Most newer models have a built-in Bluetooth system that allows you to play media from any apps on your phone while driving. This brings us to the next important point — Bluetooth systems.
When you rent or borrow a car, one of the first things you might do is sync your phone to the rental via Bluetooth. A modern vehicle with Bluetooth will remember and store a multitude of facts from your phone only during the time your device was paired to the infotainment system. These include:
- Who you’ve called
- The text messages you’ve received
- Where you’ve been
- The device’s name
- Address book
- Phone number
If you forget to wipe out this information before returning your rental or hired car, the next person who uses it may stumble across your personal information. One way to prevent the rental vehicle from downloading your contacts is to watch for when the car’s system asks if you’d like to download your address book to the car’s memory. Simply touch “No” when the system prompts you to download the phonebook.
Also, to wipe any personal data from a rental car before returning it, go to the car system’s menu. You’ll see a list of all the devices that had been paired with the vehicle via Bluetooth. Locate yours from the list and follow the directions to delete it. Once you’ve removed your information, it will automatically wipe out all contacts and call logs.
For some, an extra step may be needed to alleviate any lingering worry. A surefire way to ensure all your information has been erased from the car’s system is to do a factory reset. To do this, go into your phone settings, click on Apps and locate the car model rental you were driving. From there, revoke the service’s privileges and you should be all set.
Bluetooth Connected vs. Apple CarPlay
One danger to be aware of when syncing information on your phone to a rental or borrowed car via Bluetooth is that some of your data can be stored in the car’s system and viewed by other renters after you. Luckily, there is a way to mitigate this risk.
If your rental car’s system is not equipped with Bluetooth or you opt to use Apple CarPlay instead, you can rest assured that minimal personal information will be stored. At most, the next driver may obtain access to your phone’s identification code, which is useless without the device itself. In the case of most car models, there’s no such thing as long-term data storage from phones with the use of Apple CarPlay.
If you’ve only used Apple CarPlay, no car user who rents the same vehicle will have access to your data after you return the car. This is because the information from Apple’s profile only exists when your iPhone is tethered to the vehicle.
Other tips for protecting personal data in rental cars include using a cable to connect your phone’s headphone port to the audio system in the car. Or, you could purchase a third-party Bluetooth kit for hands-free calling. If you merely need to charge your phone, try using the USM charger in the 12-Volt port instead.
Sell to The Whiz Cells
When it comes to renting cars for vacation, there are several ways to protect your phone’s personal information even if the car’s system uses Bluetooth. At The Whiz Cells, we want you to drive safely and protect your phone’s data — all while using the latest gadgets and high-end technology. If you’d like to sell your device for an upgrade and like the sound of extra cash, we’re the cell phone reseller for you.
At The Whiz Cells, we pay our sellers faster than anyone in the business and offer free shipping and packaging for all devices sold to us. Feel free to browse our eBay Store for used and refurbished smartphones. Or, contact us for more information about reselling your mobile device at competitive prices.