Are Smart Door Locks Safe?

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Did you know 34% of burglars twist the doorknob and walk right in when robbing a home? An unlocked door makes it easier for burglars to not only enter your home, but makes neighbors think that they are just looking after your pets or watering your plants. Installing a smart door lock is an easy and convenient way to ensure your door is always locked from your smartphone.

Smart door locks act as a hands-free smart home gadget designed with convenience and safety in mind. Not only are you able to unlock the door using a custom key code, you’re also off the hook if you’re forgetful and leave your keys at home. This is because smart locks operate electronically and don’t require a key to unlock. Some locks may even use remotes, smartphones or voice commands from a smart speaker to lock and unlock your door. 

Phone Detection

One reason people doubt the safety of smart locks stems from the mistaken idea that you can only unlock them with your smartphone. Certain brands of smart door locks use your phone’s presence via Bluetooth to disengage. This becomes problematic if someone steals your phone. However, most smart locks also have a backup key, and an entry code you can enter in the event your phone isn’t with you.

Can Smart Locks be Hacked?

Like any standard lock, if someone is determined, they can find ways to pick, or in this case hack, your lock. At the 2016 hacker convention known as DEF CON, presenters focused on the safety of smart locks. Representatives from Merculite Security tested 16 smart locks that relied on Bluetooth technology to operate. They found 75% of these locks had vulnerabilities that made them easy to hack. These vulnerabilities included the following:

  • Plain text passwords

  • Decompiling APK files

  • Device spoofing

  • Replay attacks

Some companies have noted Bluetooth vulnerabilities and have added an extra layer of protection with the inclusion of Wi-Fi. For instance, Lockitron can use Wi-Fi to remotely unlock and lock a door or receive notices when the lock’s knock sensor has been triggered.

Avoiding Smart Lock Removal Since smart locks often work with an existing deadbolt, this may mean they have the same level of security as traditional locks. However; some smart locks require the deadbolt to have certain specifications before installation. For instance, the smart lock may only work with thumb-turn deadbolts and not double-cylinder deadbolts. These limitations could make the home vulnerable since the homeowner will not be able to add additional hardware for extra protection.

If you choose a smart lock, it may be best to rely on a version where you can use it as an extra layer of protection for your traditional lock. Plus, depending on the type of power source the lock uses, the lock may become useless during power failures. Brinks Home Security™ offers smart locks with encryption, opening via Bluetooth, a key code, or a regular backup key, and battery backups in the event of a power outage.

How To Keep Your Smart Door Locks Safe

Just as there are ways your smart door locks can be compromised, there are also steps you can take to protect your locks from becoming vulnerable. This includes:

  • Regularly updating your smart lock password

  • Not sharing your smart lock password

  • Updating the mobile application linked to your smart door locks

Practicing these security precautions will keep your smart door locks from becoming an easy target for break-ins.

Interested in home security equipment including smart door locks, sensors, cameras, and smoke detectors? Contact Brinks Home™ today to start building you new home security system.

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