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Do Burglars Hack Smart Locks?

Smart locks are popular devices, and for good reason. They allow remote access, there is no key to lose, and you have control over user access. More than 60 million people have smart devices, like doorbells, cameras, and smart locks. Yet, many homeowners are hesitant to install smart locks for fear that their lock may be hacked.

Is that a valid concern? These devices use wireless technology, and so, they can be hacked, but are they? Are there practices to reduce that risk? Some high-profile incidents were perpetrated by highly skilled individuals, organized groups, or government actors. Is that something consumers need to be concerned about?

The truth regarding burglary: Burglary is largely a crime of opportunity. Almost 90% of break-ins are perpetrated to support an ongoing drug habit. Statistics show that only about 12% of burglaries are planned. Criminals planning burglary generally favor the quickest and easiest means of entry, like kicking in doors and vulnerable windows, rather than hacking through passwords, firewalls, and firmware. Although stats are scarce, we can with confidence put Hollywood aside, and understand that the risk of burglars hacking your lock, to gain access, is quite low.

There are ways to protect vulnerabilities and give you peace of mind:

Password Protection: Almost 65% of smart device users don’t change their default passwords. Consider these practices:

  • Change your router and smart device password

  • Strengthen passwords

  • Use two factor or (MFA) Multi Factor Authentication

  • Keep passwords closely held and don't keep them forever

Old & Unused Devices: Disconnect unused devices and retire old devices. Firmware and software has come a long way to safeguard these technologies. The early Bluetooth smart locks were particularly vulnerable.

Buy Proven Brands: Top brand names like Yale and Schlage have been there since the early days. They have learned their lessons through some hard knocks. Their current products are generations away from those early iterations.

Software Updates: Keep all firmware and software updated. Don’t ignore verified update requests.

Use VPNs or LVAN: It’s best not to keep all your devices on the same network. Instead of separate lines you can separate lines virtually. VPNs and VLANs technologies help you do that by partitioning individual or groups of devices into separate virtual networks.

Consider IoT Devices:” Internet of Things” security devices: These devices when implemented on the network, analyze data from the cloud, monitor each device on the network, act as threat sensors and can even update devices through the cloud, adding another powerful layer of protection.

These best practices and the robust protections built into many of these products make these locks secure. The equipment, skill and time necessary to defeat these layers of security is well beyond virtually all perpetrators your household is likely to encounter.

Plan for Safety,

Andy, Senior Editor


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21 ago 2023

Thank you for the great info!

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