Don’t forget to clean your car’s cache


Twice this year we’ve needed a hire car and twice this issue popped up, so we thought it was worth a mention. It’s not the kind of security that most people would think about.

Talking about finding all kinds of personal data still in the car’s system.

We’re not going to mention the hire company used even though they were very good and the cars we had were spot on. I suspect this is more of a vehicle hire industry problem rather limited to one individual company.

Since you asked, we hired a Vauxhall Insignia ( back in January when someone rear ended the HITS Mobile ) and a Ford Mondeo ( August for a family holiday ), both nice big cars, great at long distance runs and both came with all the toys.



It’s the toys that’s the security problem here.

Both cars came with an excellent in car entertainment system (ICE). So there we are, keys in hand, driving gloves on stand-by, jumps into the car and starts to have a fiddle with the ICE system and lo and behold there’s some rather interesting data in there.

A quick flick through the Sat Nav and there’s dozens of addresses and journeys from the previous people who’d hired the vehicle.

How many of those were someone’s home address?

It gets better. The ICE wants to pair ( don’t forget, this happened with both cars ) with the ‘HITS  Phone’ for hands free calls. Not only does it pair with your smart phone but it also sucks down your entire phone directory, call logs and on the Mondeo your texts.

This is a great feature if you own the car.

Not so hot when you’re only hiring for a few days.

Looking through the phone system I could see lots of numbers and details from other phones that had connected in the past.

It wouldn’t be that hard to pull the data out, even if you just wrote numbers down.

Clearly both cars had been hired by quite a few people and none of their details had been wiped.

Put your toys away.

Best of it is, it’s so simply to remedy. All of these systems will have an option to return it to factory default. Returning the ICE back to factory settings will wipe all the data. Simples.

Each system is slightly different but if you rummage around in the setting panel it’ll be in there somewhere.

So, there’s another top tip from Harrison I.T. Services. You don’t just clean the cache on your browser, you do it on your hire car now.