SAFETY TIPS FOR TAXIS, RIDESHARES, & RENTALS
Transportation options aside from a Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) pose safety and/or Personally Identifiable Information risks/release.
During travel without a POV a taxi cab, rental, or ride share service may be your only options. No matter the choice you’re going to be sacrificing either privacy or security.
POVs or by foot travel are the best options. Public transportation such as buses or rail systems do not pose any direct PII risks but safety concerns are far greater than rideshares or taxis. Our suggestion is a rental vehicle if no alternatives exist.
Rental cars can be the most secure but you give up all your privacy. With a rental, there is no 3rd party risk. No passengers or drivers aside from yourself and your party. You are able to do a security check of the vehicle before you serve it off the rental lot. The drawback is your providing PII to the rental company. Most rental companies also outfit their vehicle switch GPS trackers. In almost all cases rental companies stateside can be trusted. It does leave a footprint and another server containing your PII that can be hacked.
Taxis are the most private but can be the least secure. By private, this means you do not need to provide any PII to hail a ride. The risk inherent here is the driver or other passengers. Verify the driver’s identity by matching it to the placard before shutting your door. Check doors and windows to ensure they operate and that the child lock is not engaged. Take a photo of the taxi’s registration plate and car #. Text it to a trusted person.
Rideshares fall somewhere in the middle in regards to privacy and security. Some PII must be provided to the rideshare company in order to summon a ride. Uber and Lyft verify driver and passenger PII to some degree but it isn’t difficult to forge the required information. With a rideshare, it’s evident your locations will be tracked and logged. Before entering into the vehicle, verify that it and the driver matches the information displayed on your rideshare app. Follow the same safety practices mentioned above in regards to taxis. Do not alter your route while driving and if the driver alters the router exit the vehicle.
Wherever you’re traveling, it’s smart to research the area for crime trends and current events (such as a planned protest). Sign up for Intel and Situational Awareness updates via the Grayman Briefing.