North Texas

Your Rental Car May Be Keeping Your Personal Information

Chances are your car has hands-free technology that lets you sync your phone to your car. It's the safe way to drive and stay connected, but it may put your privacy at risk.

Many car makers now offer the syncing technology. It lets your GPS on your phone be mirrored onto the car's digital screen. It's the same with text messages and phone contact lists.

Cybersecurity expert Dr. Murray Jennex says it can be an issue when the car isn't one you actually own.

"Any information on your phone – texts, contact lists and e-mails – can be stored and used by cybercriminals," Jennex said.

Jennex says files from your phone are saved and are able to be retrieved by hackers.

"That data is powerful. It is used to determine who you are," Jennex said.

To protect yourself, go into the Bluetooth settings on the car and erase all the user data. It's a quick and easy step you can take when returning the car to help keep your data safe.

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