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Smartphones & Rental Cars? A Risky Combination!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning about use of smartphones with a rental car’s entertainment system. Most of us are quick to plug in our phones to recharge them during a long drive. The problem arises when connecting a phone via USB to the car’s entertainment system.  Do you really know how much personal information this system can access?

According to the FTC, “the car may also keep your mobile phone number, call and message logs, or even contacts and text messages.” The vehicle may also store any GPS information that you may have entered on your travels. If you don’t delete the information before returning your rental, it is ripe for the taking by anyone else who comes into contact with the car.

  1. Try to use an alternate means for charging your smartphone such as using a cigarette lighter adapter.
  2. Limit your sharing permissions to safeguard your personal data.
  3. Be sure to delete your device from the system’s memory before returning your car to the rental agency.

How can you block access to or delete this information? Go to What Is Your Phone Telling Your Rental Car?

Source: United States Federal Trade Commission, www.ftc.gov - not subject to copyright protection. 17 U.S.C. 403.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.