At Norris Auto Group in Edmond, cars are constantly coming and going. When new car owners drive off with our old rides, they could be taking our personal information with them.
We checked several cars for sale on this lot to see what the previous owners left behind in the navigation system. We found several addresses showing where the former owner shopped, visited and even where one lived. We went to one home and approached the owner.
The woman told us she was shocked what private information we easily found.
New technology also allows us to sync our phones, and all the data that comes with it, to our cars. Having phone numbers, addresses even our pictures at our fingertips is convenient for us. It can be dangerous if in the wrong hands.
Car dealership owner TJ Norris says it's not something consumer think about.
"They're always excited about their new purchase," Norris said. "I've actually gotten in quite a few of these [cars], the phone book was full, their personal information. It actually showed their call history with several phone numbers and then their texting history with several phone numbers in there before."
We deleted all the personal information we found, something TJ Norris plans to do from now on.
"We're definitely going to take a few more steps now," Norris said. "We'll be more aware that we need to slow down and make sure we get all the personal data off."
Before we sell our car, drop it off at the mechanic or leave it parked for awhile, like at the airport, we need to make sure we clear out the addresses, garage door codes and phone data.
How to wipe GPS clean:
The easiest way to clear out your GPS system is to reset the system. Go into the main menu of the system, under settings, and it will give you the option to reset. Don't be afraid: Click the button to reset. Confirm you are erasing the data. In seconds, your navigational device is wiped clean.
How to remove the garage door opener code from your car:
On some vehicles it's as simple as holding the 1 and 3 buttons down for five to ten seconds. The light will blink slowly and then quickly. At that point the codes are wiped clean. You can also check with the garage mechanic because not all codes are programmed the same way or better yet, if you have your manual look for re-setting instructions.