If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Are smart locks safe?”, you’re within your rights. This is a relatively new technology, after all, and, for many of us, if it’s worth locking up, we’re going to want it locked up tightly.
With the Internet of Things, we’ve seen the number of household items with “smart” capabilities skyrocket in recent years. But is smart always the “smart” option? And how much can it really add to the deadbolt on your front door?
The simple answer is that smart locks are every bit as sturdy as most traditional locks, and offer a range of handy benefits for home security. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
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What Is A Smart Lock?
What are smart locks or electronic locks? And are electronic door locks safe? Put simply, a smart lock combines the best parts of traditional locks with a so-called smart interface. The device may use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology to communicate with your smartphone, tablet, or other smart units. The result is a locked door you don’t need a key to open.
But Is It All That Secure?
That last question is open to interpretation. Because the traditional deadbolt has served us faithfully for generations now, and it’s not like there’s much to improve on with it. But arriving at your door with six bags of groceries in your hands and two kids fighting for you to pick them up will make anybody want to abandon keys.
Then there’s the dreaded feeling of getting to the door and realizing you forgot the keys at the office. Or you don’t know where you last saw them, at all! This is where smart door locks get to shine, allowing you to pop it open with a simple smartphone app or special fob.
What’s more, many of these locks feature the ability to unlock with a traditional key, as well. This way, users have redundancy in case their smart devices run out of batteries.
But Are They Safe?
The truth is, when it comes to smart locks, the focus isn’t as much on increasing safety. Don’t get us wrong: most are easily as safe as your standard home lock or the best keyless deadbolt. But they don’t come much safer than their analog counterparts.
The idea, with smart home locks, is to focus more on convenience than on safety. They allow for more control, so users can unlock the door from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Which does lead us to some questions about this technology’s negative effects on your home safety? With more emphasis on comfort and convenience, there are smart lock loopholes that could put you at risk if you aren’t aware of them, beforehand.
A Closer Look At Your Security
Take temporary keys, for instance. With smart locks, guests to your home can receive temporary access to your lock via their smartphones. This is fair but many aren’t comfortable with their digital keys traveling to strange places, for example.
It’s been noted, however, that the biggest threat to your smart lock’s security is the owner and their protectiveness over the password. Because, the truth is, it’s hard to find a record of anybody with one of these locks being hacked by a stranger. These systems use privacy software on the same level as high-end VPNs and encryption similar to what a bank uses to protect its money.
Is the smart lock more or less secure than a so-called “dumb” lock, though? For the most part, they are easily on par with each other. Smart locks simply add to the way you can use your lock in order to secure your home. As technology continues to improve, we’re almost guaranteed to see much more secure iterations of this technology in years to come.
What To Look For In A Smart Lock
Of course, a smart lock is still a product and, like any other product, not all locks are built the same. With their growth in popularity, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see thousands of these units in homes across America within the next few years. It’s important, therefore, to know what to expect from yours, so you can make the best purchase for your specific needs.
- Battery life
- Safety measures
- Guest access
The best smart lock is one that works well, installs without any hassles, and keeps you secure. But you don’t want to run the risk of the batteries running out, so make sure to replace yours every half year to avoid nasty surprises.
You’ll also want to make sure the lock you’re installing actually fits and works with the door you’re putting it into. Because decor is important, too, make sure to check that it matches the door it goes into, as well.
It’s important for your system to have a failsafe as well. In the event of a power outage, the digital components of your lock may lock into place. In such a situation, you’re going to want to have a mechanical key to fall back on.
As mentioned earlier, many smart locking doors feature the ability to give temporary guests access to the door itself. Loaning out your key fob can be dangerous if they lose it, so unlocking the door for them alone is a popular feature.
As a final word on this matter, the question of safety should be factored into your purchase, as well. As with any other security measure, if you invest in a quality lock, you’ll get higher-end security. Look for certifications, quality components, and glowing online reviews from previous owners.
So, Are Smart Locks Safe?
The question “are smart locks safe” has a fairly straightforward answer. “Absolutely, provided you buy a good one, don’t give out access to too many people, and make sure never to lock yourself in during a blackout”.
Like any other security device, these locks are only as safe as you make them. They certainly aren’t unsafe, however, and the technology is getting more robust every year, which means it is getting safer every year.
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