Archives For GPS tracking

We’re sure someone, somewhere in the world has failed to follow “the steps” to take after they’ve had the misfortune to have their car stolen. But seriously, do we need a list? Well, apparently so.

In 2010, auto thefts cost U.S. drivers about $4.5 billion. Although, in 2012 there has been a 3.3 percent reduction in the number of auto thefts, but that DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T EXIST ANYMORE. People get their cars stolen every day!

Now have you ever had one of those sleep-deprived days … or gotten lazy? Or maybe you parked in an unsafe area or didn’t lock your car one time and you come back to the spot to find it empty? Here is what you do.

According to this recent list from Jalopnik:

1: Make sure your car’s actually gone!  (We did say if you were having one of those sleep-deprived days, didn’t we??)

2: Now that you pinched yourself and realized you AREN’T just having a nightmare, you move on to the next step. Ask yourself if it might have been towed.

3: You should probably notify the police, right?

4: Call your vehicle security provider (if you’re lucky you have information from a Viper SmartStartGPS unit that you can relay to them).

5: Ask people nearby if they saw anything.

6: FREAK OUT. This would be a perfectly appropriate moment to let your emotions flow out. Don’t get too crazy now; you will soon be surrounded by the police!

7: Call your insurance company.

8: Look for your car online. It’s not too unlikely the thief had alternative motives, other than ruining your life, for stealing your car! Money perhaps? Maybe you can re-purchase your car vehicle and bag the crook!

9: *Sniff Sniff … Start looking for a replacement! *Sniff

10: Lastly, but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST. Learn from your mistakes!

We like this last nugget of advice the best: “Learn from it”! As in, don’t skimp on car security. And then maybe you won’t have to read the other recommendations.

Be smart, and make a vow to never have to follow these steps. EVER. Get your car protected! Choose Viper!

To read the full Jalopnik article, click here.

MQ-9 Reaper Drone, Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Well, here’s a scary one.

The nerds at the University of Texas at Austin have successfully used a $1,000 GPS “spoofing” device to take over a flying, pilotless U.S. drone with an unencrypted GPS system.

See Fox News video here, and video from the researchers here.

Don’t forget, Iran has already claimed to have hijacked a U.S. spy drone by “spoofing” its GPS system.

According to a recent article from Examiner.com, the researchers’ $1,000 gizmo uses an even stronger signal than the one broadcast by satellites in outer space — tricking the drone into believing that it’s somewhere other than where it actually is.

Whoops!

After scoring an invite from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the researchers (led by a professor Todd Humphreys) showed reps from DHS and the FAA gathered at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico just how the “spoof” hijacking technology worked.

What with U.S. plans to deploy a large number of unmanned drones over the skies of the U.S., according to this piece in the The Washington Times, the revelation of this new technology is a little, um … disconcerting?

If you REALLY want to scare the tar out of yourself, check out some of the quotes from the Fox News piece:

“Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” the lead researcher, Todd Humphreys, told the network.

The Fox story also said that DHS officials are trying to control GPS interference with its “Patriot Watch” and “Patriot Shield” efforts — but the programs are poorly funded, in the early stages and targeted in the wrong places.

Weeeeell … that’s great.

The numbers don’t lie.

Scary stats from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash data show that the Fourth of July is the deadliest day for teenaged drivers. The report also shows that it’s a time for all other holiday drivers to be especially wary as well.

For parents, Independence Day driving is no joke — with their teen sons and daughters involved in four times more car crashes than any other other age group.

The IIHS numbers indicate that more than 800 in the U.S. have been killed in car accidents on the Fourth of July between 2006-2010 — and if the upward trend continues, there will be 140 more killed this year.

Texting and cell phone use among teens is the leading cause of distracted driving crashes, so parents should make sure to warn teens about cell phone use when driving, talk to them about the dangers of drinking and other distractions — and, heck, if all else fails install teen tracking tech on their car to track their location and speeding habits.

And heck, remind them to wear a seat belt too. Don’t be afraid of teenaged eye-rolling, sighs and harumphs that mom or dad is “not cool.” This holiday driving season, it’s too important to communicate and keep your family safe and secure.

This holiday season, please stay smart and take steps to educate your family.

Happy birthday, America, have fun.

Read More: Parental Monitoring Is Smart During the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ of Teen Driving

Read More: The ‘100 Deadliest Days’ of Teen Driving