How Secure Are Smart Locks?
With smart lock usage becoming more common than ever with homeowners, you may be wondering just how secure they really are. Are you truly able to put your trust into an internet-connected security device to protect your home and treasured belongings?
When considering smart locks, you cannot help but to compare them with traditional physical locks. The truth is that picking locks isn't all that difficult. You don't have to look far on the internet before you discover hundreds of 'how-to' guides and videos showing step by step instructions on how to get past traditional home security measures. Not only that but there are plenty of online stores that sell complete sets of lock-picking tools to the general public. So are traditional locks really any safer?
Most home break-ins are performed by opportunistic criminals who take advantage of a weakness or flaw in your home security. Do you really think your average opportunist thief would go to the trouble of trying to hack or crack your specific individual smart lock code? They want to have an easy time of breaking in and need to make the burglary as quick as possible to avoid being discovered or disturbed. A smart lock is an extra layer of protection that most burglars are just not willing to tackle.
Despite the best efforts of lock companies to bring out new technologies and next-generation locking devices that claim to be pick-proof, for a determined burglar there are more ways to get into your home than by simply picking the front door lock.
Many burglars carry crowbars or strong ratchet arm tools that can easily pry open locks. Using one of these tools plus a bit of brute force can pretty much guarantee entry to most homes. Usually a backdoor or a side door is chosen for this type of entry as they are most likely hidden away from view or from the prying eyes of neighbours.
Even windows can be a target for burglars. If a doorway entry proves to be to problematic or time-consuming, then they can easily break in through a window instead of going through a door. Once inside the thief can then burgle your house and leave via a door opened from the inside.
You really have to step back and take a moment to understand who you are protecting your home against. Many people will get an idea from the movies that there are criminal gangs in operation who have cutting-edge hacking skills. In the real-world this just isn't true. What is portrayed in films and on television are fictional characters with hacking skills that your average neighbourhood criminal just doesn't possess.
It is a well known fact that most home burglaries are carried out by petty thieves with a long history of breaking and entering by the most crude methods available, or they are usually bored teenagers looking for a thrill. What you have to realise is that your home is at the most threat from amateurs that lack the basic skills needed to hack a smart lock.
The potential downside of using smart locks?
There is probably only one possible downside to using smart locks for your home. Depending on your choice of make and model, a smart lock can advertise to potential burglars that you have something of value inside that would be worth the effort of stealing.
If it so happens that you do spend a lot of money on pricey gadgets, expensive jewellery or watches etc. then you will want to do everything in your power to prevent a would-be burglar from breaking in to your home and stealing away your precious possessions.
The best of both worlds?
The best solution of course would be to combine your security options and use both traditional security locks as well as smart locks. This will provide a double layer of security to your home that will most likely act to put off any opportunistic break in attempts. However, if you want your home to remain pretty inconspicuous to potential thieves, choosing a smart lock that isn't too obvious from the outside will not act to attract unwanted attention.
Having said that, having a home security system that can act as a visual deterrent to would-be thieves can also work really well. Installing smart locks, traditional locks and CCTV cameras to cover vulnerable entry points to your home can deter prowlers who may be casing your home in advance of a planned break in. This is a winning combination that is more effective against career criminals who choose their victims in advance. However, even these more organised operations still lack the hacking skills that would successfully get them past your home smart locks!