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More and more often we are seeing a desire for various smart locks to be installed in customer’s homes. There are a multitude of great options for the sake of convenience, but with a higher level of convenience typically comes lower level of security. Every smart lock is different and has its own array of options, abilities and vulnerabilities so be sure to research the specific lock you are interested in. The following information for the newly emerging units.

Electronic locks are convenience incarnate. They offer keypads so forgetting your key isn’t a problem. Multiple user codes can be logged and removed as users are no longer allowed access. The higher end models can restrict user codes to certain days and hours and log use. The “smart” versions can often be opened with phone credentials, a fob or card. Some of the smart locks hook to wifi to be able to receive commands when your out to unlock the door. Thye can make great options for businesses or Air B and B’s.
Batteries need to be upkept and changed regularly with high end alkaline batteries. Deadbolts that use the battery to physically throw the deadbolt will eat up batteries much quicker as do units that constantly connect to wifi. Electronic components add a whole extra level of parts to fail for various reasons. Special care needs to be taken if putting on or taking off not to clip the often feeble wires in the units. Most of the units offer a metal emergency key bypass method. This tends to mean the unit has all the vulnerabilities of a regular key lock with the added vulnerabilities of a smart or electric lock. Something to keep in mind, you are typically buying this for convenience, not security.

Bluetooth can be hacked. Wifi can be hacked. While convenience is nice, it should be noted there are a considerable amount of devices on the black market for bypassing electronic locks. Whilst this isn’t my specialty, I took a course at a security conference a few years ago wherein the instructor spent about 15 minutes explaining how a 150 dollar device could gain access to your phone through Bluetooth vulnerabilities. You could see a room of 30 security professionals pull their phones out and shut down Bluetooth. The point is, these devices add less security, not more. I wouldn’t say its likely to be used on your home, but the risk is there and it should be known.

Consider keypad and smart locks if the convenience is the more important factor to you. Air B & B’s do well with them because they can issue credentials remotely for guests or contractors. If you forget your housekeys twice a week a keypad could be a gamechanger. If you are dealing with a domestic issue or a deranged ex employee, the less options to gain entry may be the better solution. Either way, research the specific lock you’re interested in and pay as much attention to the negative as you do the positive.

JD Locksmith Solutions can always help in the selection process of an electronic lock that suits your needs and budget and can be reached at (508)535-5625

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