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Adbuzzzz-leadThe first case of car theft was recorded in 1896, hardly a decade after gas-powered cars were first invented. Since then, Interpol estimates that car thefts amount to over $19 billion in losses globally every year. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure that you don’t become part of the statistic. From basic sirens and alarms to sophisticated security systems that alert mobile devices and computers, there are several options with which to deter car thieves.

Here is a closer look at a few security systems available in Pakistan:

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). This security system recognises the owner through a RFID plastic card that operates within two inches of a scanning device installed in the car. Without the card, the engine shuts down within 30 seconds.
Specifications – Adjustable detection ranges (works best when the card and scanner are in proximity) and automatic ignition cut-off.

Approximate prices – Digitec Systems: Rs 5,000; Futura Security Solutions: Rs 6,800.
Dual Zone Microwave Motion Sensor. This security system uses sensors to create an invisible ‘bubble’ around the car; when breached, it triggers an alarm.
Specifications – Adjustable perimeter and sensitivity, 360 degree protection.
Approximate prices – Microscan Systems: Rs 19,000; Micro-Tech Security Systems: Rs 21,000.
Biometric Fingerprint Car Locks. Only drivers whose fingerprints have been fed into the system can start the car. The system will prevent vehicle ignition and immediately sounds an alarm if a ‘stranger’ attempts to start the car.
Specifications – Memory for up to nine sets of fingerprints and automatic ignition cut-off within three minutes if an authorised driver leaves the car.
Approximate prices – Pak Japan Systems: Rs 28,000; HLS Security Systems:  Rs 30,000.
GSM and GPS enabled systems. This security system passively tracks the car using GSM Cell Identification and GPS. An SMS or voice command can be used to control the system from anywhere in the world.
Specifications – Voice and SMS operations, location tracking, keyless entry and message alerts over a GSM cellular connection.
Approximate prices – Global Links Pakistan: Rs 16,000; Star Guard Car Security System: Rs 20,000; Ayaans Hi-Tech Systems: 30,000; G-Tech Systems: Rs 30,000.

– Syed Wajeeh-ul-Hassan Naqvi

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of the DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 16, 2013.