It is vitally important to remove all data from a fleet vehicle before selling or returning it. To be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), all patient information must be erased from ambulances and any other medical vehicles. For security reasons, you don’t want anyone else to have access to your company, organization, or personal information.
Fleet vehicles rely heavily on connectivity to communicate with each other and often use hands-free technology that syncs with the vehicle upfitting dashboard. You have GPS for navigation purposes, secure data connections for convenience and safety, and Bluetooth technology to keep you connected while on the go. All of this technology is important to have, but much of the information is actually stored in your upfit vehicles too.
Clear Your Address Book
When your cell phone is connected to your dashboard for hands free usage, it is paired with the vehicle. This information can be detrimental in the wrong hands, so you need to keep it secure. Clear the saved numbers, recent calls, and any other data that appears on your navigation screen. You'll likely need to enter into the Bluetooth setup menu and remove your phone from the paired phones list. This should clear all of your call logs for incoming and outgoing calls as well as your address book. Some navigation systems have a “clear private data” or a factory reset option in the menu to erase all the data it stores. Remember that the vehicle can record addresses that you looked up in the fleet car as well as your employee’s home address if the vehicle goes home with the employee at night.
Disconnect from the Cloud
Disconnect all fleet vehicles from routers as well as all mobile applications from upfitting vehicles. This includes all the mobile phones that are used in the vehicles because this phone data can be transferred to and stored in the vehicle.
Reset Your Garage Door Opener
If your fleet vehicles have an integrated remote that is paired to your garage door opener, you will want to reset it to avoid giving unintended access to the building. Check your instruction manual for your particular garage door opener for instructions on how to reset it. Most of them instruct you to hold a combination of buttons down until a light blinks to signal you that the reset is complete.
Remove Hardware Plug-Ins
Remove all hardware and plug-ins that you installed in the fleet vehicle, such as a dongle. These items can give you much more security for software, but often, the information can be retained, and a third party may gain access to it.
USB Charging Ports
The best bet is to use a cigarette lighter adapter for charging your devices in your upfits rather than connecting to the infotainment system just for charging. The USB infotainment system is capable of transferring some of your data automatically to the vehicle.
Following the above steps to erase all of your personal and professional information from your fleet vehicles' EDR or black box, which stores information, will keep all information confidential. This protects your employees, clients, and patients and makes certain that a new owner will not be able to track your information.
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