Monthly Archives: December 2017

Outsmarting your connected car

We are often wary of our phones or computers getting hacked, but we often overlook a much less obvious –but potentially far more dangerous – piece of tech falling into hackers’ hands. Our cars are becoming just as connected as other technologies in our lives, so protecting data here is just as important.

Connected cars have a crazy amount of users’ data, like what’s transferred over Bluetooth from your phone, location, and more.

According to Autoalliance.org, a connected car has the ability to gather data and communicate it. People connect to the internet through their cars for a variety of reasons, including safety, information, and entertainment. It all sounded exciting and convenient, until white hat hackers (hackers who break into protected systems in order to point out weaknesses and improve security) found they could hack into connected cars.

When white hat hackers accessed a connected vehicle, they didn’t only get data. They had the ability to manipulate what the Connected-carcar was doing – adjust the volume, open the trunk, and even control the speed and steering. Car manufacturers such as Jeep and Tesla have reported these kinds of hacks in recent years.

Car manufacturers are actively working with white hat hackers to fix these problems, and the average hacker doesn’t have the level of skill needed to hack a car in this way. But what is more accessible is your data. Connected cars have a crazy amount of users’ data, like what’s transferred over Bluetooth, location, and more.

Here are steps you can take to protect your connected car’s data:

  1. Read your owner’s manual. Make sure you understand what data is being collected, and ask questions when you’re purchasing from a dealer.
  2. Be mindful of what you plug into the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) port, as this is the nervous system of your vehicle. You can purchase an OBD lock to prevent people from accessing it.
  3. When you install a new app, watch for end-user license agreements and acknowledgment screens. These could include portions of the privacy policy.
  4. Don’t assume apps will default to the highest security settings. The main function of connected devices is to gather information and connect to other devices. With that in mind, use the highest privacy settings whenever possible.
  5. Disable GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi when not in use.
  6. Make your passwords/passcodes strong, and keep them secure.
  7. Update apps and devices when new versions are available.
  8. Wipe your data before you sell a car.

And beyond the car sitting in your driveway or garage, don’t forget the dangers of rental cars. If you connect your phone to a rental vehicle, it’s extra important to take safeguards.

Don’t treat your car as a dumb machine. Nowadays, our vehicles hold just as much personal data as our other devices, but fewer people are aware of the potential risks.

Written by Vickie Lubner-Webb and Mary Mulcahy

Bend Habitat: Serving families is what they do

Bend Habitat: Serving families is what they do

The Bend Area Habitat for Humanity is one of 30 nonprofits that BendBroadband provides free or reduced internet and video services. Every Friday during our Month of Giving campaign, BendBroadband is featuring one of these organizations on our web page. In addition, every day we post information about one nonprofit on our Facebook and Twitter… Continue Reading

Have Yourself a Sustainable Holiday

Have Yourself a Sustainable Holiday

A lot goes into celebrating holidays – decorations, gift-wrapping, large meals – which can result in a lot of waste. You don’t have to cut back on holiday festivities to minimize waste with these tips. Go LED Not only do they use less energy, but LED bulbs last longer than traditional halogen incandescent lights. Although… Continue Reading

New webpage is a one stop shop for TV updates

New webpage is a one stop shop for TV updates

If you’re a BendBroadband TV customer, there’s a new webpage just for you. When you visit bendbroadband.com/TVupdates, you’ll get the scoop on any important changes that could impact your service. Why the new spot? We’re routinely negotiating with content providers to carry and add new channels. This new webpage is our way of making sure… Continue Reading

Abilitree: Empowering lives, growing independence

Abilitree: Empowering lives, growing independence

Abilitree is one of 30 nonprofits that BendBroadband provides free or reduced internet and video services. Every Friday during our Month of Giving campaign, BendBroadband is featuring one of these organizations on our web page. In addition, every day we post information about one nonprofit on our Facebook and Twitter sites. We hope you enjoy… Continue Reading

Despicable Me 3, Kingsman, American Assassin coming to Movies on Demand

Despicable Me 3, Kingsman, American Assassin coming to Movies on Demand

Gru and the Minions are heading to your living room with “Despicable Me 3,” one of dozens of new films coming to Movies on Demand. In addition, we’ve got a pair of action flicks, including the rugged “American Assassin” and the outrageous “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” If you are in the mood for an intense… Continue Reading

St. Vincent food drop-off at BendBroadband office

St. Vincent food drop-off at BendBroadband office

Next time you drive by the BendBroadband office on Sherman Road, be sure to stop and donate a food item. A St. Vincent de Paul donation barrel is located at the BendBroadband office at 63090 Sherman Road in Bend this holiday season. The barrel will be there from now until Dec. 31. When asked about their greatest need, St. Vincent de Paul… Continue Reading