Updated: Aug 21, 2021
With smart home technology becoming more mainstream and accessible, many consumers are turning to smart lock security and questioning how it compares to traditional mechanical locks. Smart locks have many advantages, but are they more secure? How much of a risk does hacking pose? What's the best way to keep your home safe?
What are the benefits of using smart locks?
Convenience is one of the big selling points of smart lock security. No need to carry around your keys – simply use your smartphone, biometric, or other methods to unlock your door. Connect other smart home systems to your smart lock, and opening your front door can trigger the heat or air conditioning to turn up and the lights to turn on. Give houseguests a digital key instead of a physical one, and let delivery people inside when you're not there to answer the door.
Smart lock security: advantages and vulnerabilities
Smart lock security brings a new risk that traditional locks don't face: hacking. With the right tools and knowledge, someone could remotely access a smart lock, use it to get into a home, and perhaps even take access away from the owner. If the smart lock is connected to a wider range of smart home systems, gaining access to the lock can also grant access to everything else. If there is a vulnerability in the smart lock line, someone aware of the vulnerability could use it to access any home page, if the manufacturer is slow to patch the lock, or if the lock was unable to receive the patch in the first place.
Like any other technology and system we use, from smartphones to accounts on various websites, the risk of hacking is always there, but there are ways to mitigate that risk. Buying high-quality, certified products from companies that regularly patch and maintain their systems reduces the likelihood that a smart lock will end up with a major vulnerability that can't be fixed. Using strong passwords, double authentication and other good security practices can also help keep your home safe.