Pairing Smartphones Leaves Renters’ Personal Info Exposed

When renters connect their smartphones to the rental car's infotainment system, it stores their phone numbers and call logs. Photo via Wikimedia.
When renters connect their smartphones to the rental car's infotainment system, it stores their phone numbers and call logs. Photo via Wikimedia.

When renters connect or “pair” their smartphones via Bluetooth, the car’s infotainment stores their phone numbers and call logs. Once connected, renters can take calls over the vehicle’s audio system, dial from the center console, get directions or stream music.

But when you connect your phone to the rental car, your personal information is saved inside the car’s system. That means your phone’s personal information can be found by the next renter, according to a USA Today article.

Author Kim Komando recommends taking the time to remove personal data from the infotainment center before returning the vehicle.

Go into the car’s settings and locate your smartphone from the list of previously paired Bluetooth gadgets. There should be an option to delete your phone, which should erase the call logs and saved contacts, according to the article. If you can’t find the option, ask someone at the car rental office to help you.

Additionally, if you used the rental car’s navigation system, erase your location history. You don’t want the next renter to know where you went or where you live, says the article.

Click here for the full USA Today article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/komando/2015/07/03/komando-car-rental-mistakes/29614165/

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