How safe are smart locks? In this article, I’ll cover the pros and cons of smart locks.
The smart lock is one of the latest innovations in home security, and it is primarily designed to make your home safer and provide convenience at the same time. Smart locks do not use conventional keys, they are operated electronically using a remote or your smartphone.
Smart locks are among the best choices when it comes to high-tech home security and automation. They usually work with Bluetooth or WiFi and can also be controlled using your phone.
Why Should You Invest in A Smart Lock?
Here are some of the reasons why smart locks will be great for your home.
Like any other smart home gadget, the smart lock’s main goal is to provide you with convenience. Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your doors using remote access and voice commands. You can even set up scenes that will prompt your smart lock to lock your front door.
When the smart lock is WiFi connected, you can easily control it remotely. You just need to buy a plug-in bridge for your WiFi, which allows the lock to connect to your network.
Doing that will let you lock and unlock your door from anywhere, as long as you have internet access. For instance, you forgot to lock the door as you are heading to the airport, you can quickly lock it using your mobile phone.
This is also great for those who are always not sure whether they have locked their doors or not. With this, you can easily check if the doors are actually locked.
Don’t worry about having a smart lock and making your home look like it came out from a sci-fi movie. Smart locks can be stylish, too, and they can even look like a normal lock if you want. They usually look like a standard deadbolt, but of course, they’re smart on the inside.
Smart locks are available in a variety of styles. The good thing is, most of these smart locks work from the inside, leaving your exterior door style unaltered. With smart locks, you can expect to have a traditional bolt design combined with keypads, plus you can choose to go classic or modern in terms of style.
Retain Old Keys
Some smart locks allow you to keep your old keys. There are retrofit models, such as the August locks that do not require you to remove any existing deadbolt and allow you to use the old key.
Make Guest Access More Efficient
Into time-sharing or vacation rental? Do you hire dog-walkers or cleaners? Do you have family and friends who come by often?
Then installing a smart lock might be the best decision you’ll make! With smart locks, you do not need to duplicate keys and secure the spare sets. You can give digital keys to your friends, families, and even cleaners, with the use of the lock’s compatible app.
In addition, you can even set specific times for the guests to enter your home. So, you have your dog walked every day between five and six in the afternoon? You can let the dog walker enter your home only at this specific time window. Furthermore, you can also give unlimited access to family or household members.
Do you have an incoming delivery but you can’t wait for it to arrive? Some smart locks provide a one-time access for such cases. And if you are uncomfortable having a complete stranger enter your home, don’t worry, as there are smart locks that come with a smart camera.
Keep Your Home Secure
While smart locks may still need frequent updates and changing of passwords and PINs, they are the safer choice when it comes to home security. Using smart locks lowers the chances that someone uninvited (and dangerous!) would enter your home.
This smart device eliminates the risk of someone opening your door with the key you hid under the doormat. Installing smart keys provide an intruder with an almost zero-entry method.
Risks Involving Smart Locks
While they may sound like a great idea, let’s take a look at some potential risks of smart locks when it comes to keeping your home and family safe.
Of course, when there are benefits, there are risks, as well. Here are some of the disadvantages of using a smart lock:
One of the major disadvantages of using a smart lock is that most models need the homeowner’s phone to get unlocked.
Some brands require the phone’s presence in order to disengage and this can become a problem in case your phone gets stolen. Moreover, some smart locks let you change lock codes through the application alone.
Another possible problem with phone-activated smart locks is a firmware glitch. You might have an issue with security in case the firmware gets bugged or had an unsuccessful update.
There were instances when smart locks got hacked which are also because of the owner’s carelessness or actions.
Some of the factors that can get your smart lock hacked include plain text passwords, device cloning, replay attacks, and decompiling APK files.
Some blame the vulnerability of the Bluetooth connection; hence, it is best to use extra protection like WiFi connectivity.
While this is usually unlikely to happen, it is possible for intruders to remove the whole smart lock from the door. Keep in mind that this device usually works with the existing door deadbolt and it can be uninstalled using a simple screwdriver.
Thus, when choosing a smart lock, it is best to use a model that offers protection in addition to your conventional lock. Likewise, there are smart locks that can be useless in case of power failures, so you may want to consider this when choosing a model.
Conclusion: Smart Locks Are Safe!
We all want to protect our homes and belongings. And most of us, at least in the US, have opted for security with deadbolts. These handy security devices are one of the simplest — yet most effective — ways to protect your home when you’re away.
Smart locks take this same idea a step further by adding connectivity and connectivity is always a good thing (or so we hope), right?
Not all smart locks are created equal. It’s important to make sure your smart lock is as secure as possible before you invest in one.
The answer to the question “Are smart locks safe?” is yes, but there are things to consider. Choosing one must depend on your specific needs, and you must keep in mind that they are not perfect. Still, there are trusted manufacturers that were able to sort out different issues such as durability, connectivity, and even hacking.
Even with their several drawbacks, smart locks can provide smart and integrated protection layers like PIN, emergency battery nodes, and decoy keypad codes; thus, upgrading your door’s safety.
Overall, smart locks are a great way to make your life simpler, more convenient, and undeniably safer.