In the news recently are concerns involving GPS systems in vehicles. Since they have become so portable and affordable almost everyone has one. No, I am not going to write about how distracting or blinding they can be when mounted on your windshield or dashboard. Instead, I wish to bring to your attention the danger of an unattended GPS system inside your car. GPS systems are high functioning, and have several wonderful built in features, which almost all models and brands include, called the home button.
The home button is a fun little button that allows the driver to push when he or she wants to return to home from where ever he or she may be now. How the home button works is on the initial set up the GPS locates the home address via satellite. This way no matter where you are you can hit the go home button and get automatic systematic directions to your driveway. This is a cool feature right?
Consider the following scenario the next time you go out to dinner or a movie. After arriving at your destination, you park your car, and head inside the movie theatre to purchase your tickets. Then you stand in the lines to get your favorite beverage and snack. Eventually you find your seats, and chat with your spouse while waiting for the movie to begin. Yet, what you may not have realized is as you walked into the theatre someone was watching you closely. Once you were inside the thieves break in to your car and grabbed your GPS.
Thieves turn on the GPS and hit the home button, only this time thieves just got step-to-step directions to your home. They also know since you are seeing a movie they have a plenty of time to find and rob your home. The thieves are betting it will be at least a couple hours before you even realize your car has been broken into and robbed. By the time, you call the police and the police fill out a report the thieves will be long gone from your home. Your GPS system will easily sell on the street for just a few dollars.
Now imagine the same scenario above, but this time your children are home alone or with a babysitter while you are at the movies. A very frightening thought right. Remember your car is an extension of your home, and anything left inside your car is fair game to thieves. This includes items like CDís, DVDís, portable electronics, cell phones, GPS, and other small quickly pocketed items. Thieves move methodically and fast.
Now when you set up your GPS, instead of putting in your exact home address, put in an imaginary house number a few blocks from home. After all, you should be able to get home from right up the street. Next look around your car carefully and remove any items with your home address, like any mail, and consider carefully what you are leaving in your car. Anything visible through the car window to the outside world is tempting to thieves. Remember to guard personal information carefully.