Consumers still don’t know how to protect their data in connected cars

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on June 10, 2019

For many drivers, getting in the car follows a routine: use a key fob to unlock the car door, get into the driver’s seat, connect a smartphone to the car’s infotainment system, and then drive off. Yet, when tested on their knowledge of connected vehicle security, consumers were wrong on half the answers, scoring a failing average of 49%.

Here’s where they fell short:

  • 33% didn’t know that a key fob is a potential pathway for hackers to gain access to a connected vehicle.
  • 61% of connected vehicle owners didn’t know that a hacker can access the steering wheel or the brakes of their automobile.
  • 65% of connected vehicle owners incorrectly believed that the vehicle manufacturer is required to notify owners of software and security updates.

Our research also uncovered an interesting trend over the past year around vehicle smartphone integration. While 70% of owners have synced their smartphones to their vehicles in that time frame, only 46% admit that they don’t know the industry best practices on how to keep their personal data safe when driving their vehicle.

Consumer perception of the most at-risk devices could explain why more people are connecting to their cars but remain unaware of the security implications. Only 22% of people perceive connected vehicles as a significant threat to data security, compared to smartphones (45%), laptops/tablets (41%), smart speakers (40%) and smart home devices (30%).

To view the data from this study, check out our infographic, or take the Data Security in Connected Vehicles quiz to see how well you score.

Topics: CarGurus data, industry news, trends