Are Smart Locks Secure? (Can I get hacked?)

The first question that comes to mind when considering installing a smart lock is whether it is secure enough and that it won’t be hacked into.

Are Smart Locks Secure? Can They Be Hacked?

Yes, smart locks are secure. Most use advanced encryption for data transmission. But the reality is that anything connected to a network can be hacked. That said, the chances of someone breaking into your home with a crowbar or by breaking a window are far higher than the “chances” of your front door being hacked.
In fact, it’s better to first invest more money in the overall security of your home to make it more secure rather than neglect basic principles and worry that the smart door will be hacked.

How secure are smart locks?

Smart locks are among the safest connected objects on the market, and for good reason. They are similar to traditional locks in that they physically protect access to your home and your valuables.
Like many other connected devices these days, smart locks use advanced encryption for data transmission.

But security doesn’t stop with the device itself. Almost all smart devices “communicate” with other services. All connected devices, boxes, smartphones, computers are potential targets of attacks and subject to potential security flaws.

For example, many WiFi-compatible connected objects send their data to other devices. A security flaw discovered by a hacker group could be shared on the internet and used by malicious individuals for hacking.

It should be noted that anything connected to a network can be hacked.

But for most, the level of time, effort, expertise, and success required to hack your smart lock simply isn’t worth it for a hacker. Even if a hacker managed to hack your lock (unlikely), there’s a slim chance they live in the same country, know your exact home address, and even less chance that they’d bother to travel there. Hackers prefer to stay seated at their PCs.

Features of a Smart Lock

In my opinion, the slim possibility that your lock may be hacked is greatly outweighed by the security benefits and convenience it offers.

Remote Monitoring

One of the best features of smart locks is the ability to monitor your door remotely.
Through a mobile app, you can check if your door is open or closed, from anywhere in the world.

You will even have a history of entries and exits and of people who have unlocked the lock.

Custom Alerts

You can customize your smart lock to be automatically alerted when:

  • Your lock is unlocked
  • The lock remains unlocked for too long
  • The lock is unlocked during a time interval when it should not be.
  • Etc.

Remote Control

The ability to lock and unlock your door lock remotely when you’re not home is a huge security advantage compared to traditional doors.
Suppose you went to work in the morning and forgot to lock the door, or you have a doubt. No problem, just take out your smartphone and click a button. There, the door is locked.

Your children come home earlier than you from school and have forgotten their keys? You can remotely unlock the door for them and let them in.

This level of control is one of the main reasons why people switch to smart locks.

Keeping a Smart Lock Secure

There are measures you can take to reduce the risk of your smart lock being hacked.

Perform Software Updates

Device manufacturers are aware that vulnerabilities can and do exist, which is why they frequently provide updates and patches for their software.

They even go as far as hiring third-party security firms to audit their devices and systems for these vulnerabilities and resolve them.

So, make sure that your smart lock or your network is up to date.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

More important than ensuring your smart lock is up to date is securing your Wi-Fi network! This means having a strong password (which is the default) and possibly using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

(If you want to know how to create a secure password, check out this article).

If someone can access your Wi-Fi network, they can access all the devices connected to it. Therefore, you understand the importance of not sharing this information with just anyone.

Ensure Your Garage is Secure

In addition to ensuring your smart lock is updated and your Wi-Fi network is not public, you can enhance the physical security of your doors to increase security.

Again, it is more likely that your door will be forced open with a crowbar rather than getting hacked. Intruders will enter through a weak point of the house (usually a door, a window, or French doors). Here are some examples of how to protect yourself:

1- Hide the Inside of the House

This is a simple tip with many benefits.

To start with, a burglar scouting the area can only rely on what they see. If they see the interior of your house, they can get a precise idea of what’s inside and decide if it’s worth breaking in or not, and through which opening.

And what is out of sight, is also out of mind.

If a burglar doesn’t know and can’t see the expensive equipment you have in your garage or the PS5 in your living room, they might not take the risk or time to break in.

You can obstruct the view with privacy screens, fences and gates, thereby preventing any onlookers from getting closer to know more, or you can block your windows with curtains, blinds, translucent film, or frosted glass windows.

2- Improve Outdoor Lighting

A well-lit garden and house are excellent deterrents against thieves. Burglars prefer to operate out of sight and not draw attention.

Installing motion sensor spotlights above the garage, front, and patio doors might be enough to deter a burglary attempt.

3- Secure Your Garage Doors and French Doors

Your service door or French door may have a key that you always leave in the inside lock.

Burglars are known to exploit this negligence by homeowners. They just need to break a glass pane with a stone (in 2 seconds) and then turn the key. No need for a crowbar. Service doors without windows (generally not visible from public space) are drilled with a hole saw a few centimeters from the lock, then they put their arm through the hole and turn the key… too easy.

By installing more secure doors and not leaving keys in the locks, a thief may be deterred. Remember, a thief fears getting caught. They want to act quickly, and while some don’t give up easily, many thieves quickly change their mind if things don’t go as planned!

4- Don’t Keep Valuable Items in Plain Sight

This one is also quite obvious, but still worth mentioning.

Aside from your cars and the front of your house, which are easily identifiable from public spaces, don’t flaunt your wealth and possessions unnecessarily, as they could attract unwanted attention (even from a neighbor).

In winter, don’t leave your belongings lying around in the garden as trees and hedges expose your yard.

What to Do If Someone Breaks into My House

In the event that someone manages to break into your house, there are still things you can do.

To start with, if the burglar breaks into the garage, make sure you always have a lock on the door between the garage and the rest of the house. And keep it locked by default! Don’t make it easy for a burglar by giving them access to your entire house once they’ve entered your garage.

You can also install security cameras in your garage. This won’t prevent someone from stealing your belongings once inside, but it could help identify the thief and recover your items.

In addition, installing an alarm system is effective. Anything that can “surprise” a burglar has the potential to stop them. Loud noise is no exception. It startles, is unpleasant, and draws the neighborhood’s attention. The last thing a burglar wants is to be caught in the act.

Conclusion: Are Smart Locks Safe?

Are connected house locks as secure as they claim?

Well, as previously discussed, anything connected to a network can be hacked, and smart door locks are no exception. But the likelihood of your door actually getting hacked is almost nil.

This slim possibility is vastly outweighed by all the security advantages that smart locks offer. Like the ability to monitor your garage door remotely, receive alerts when it’s opened, control it remotely, or know when your children have come home.

You can ensure the security of your smart lock by making sure it uses a secure and updated network.

In the end, burglars are much more likely to break into your house using traditional methods. So, take basic measures like obscuring the interior with curtains, improving outdoor lighting with motion detectors, removing keys from service doors and French doors, and not flaunting your wealth unnecessarily.

Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a smart lock once my house is built.

The Smart Lock I Recommend

I personally recommend the August Home Smartlock which allows you to open the lock without a key:

August Home AUG-SL05-M01-S01 August Wi-Fi, (4th Generation) Smart Lock, Silver

→ Check on Amazon

OR with the connect hub that allows you to open and control the lock remotely:

August Home Smart Lock Pro + Connect Hub - Wi-Fi Smart Lock for Keyless Entry - Works with Alexa,...

→ Check on Amazon


Temporary Access

Smart locks also allow you to create temporary access codes for guests or workers.
Let’s say you’re having a party and don’t want to keep getting up to let people in, or maybe you have a cleaning service coming while you’re at work. You can set a temporary code for the duration of the event or the cleaning session. After the specified time, the code will no longer work, ensuring your home remains secure.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

Smart locks can also integrate with your existing smart home systems.
They can work in conjunction with security cameras, alarm systems, and even your smart lights. For instance, when you unlock your door, your smart lights could automatically turn on. This integration further enhances the convenience and security provided by smart locks.

How to Make Your Smart Lock More Secure?

While smart locks are inherently secure, there are additional steps you can take to further ensure your home’s safety.
Use a Strong and Unique Password
Ensure that you are using a strong, unique password for your smart lock’s app. Don’t reuse passwords from other sites or services.

Regularly Update Your Lock’s Firmware
Just like your computer or smartphone, your smart lock also receives software updates, often known as firmware updates. These updates often include security enhancements, so it’s crucial to install them promptly.

Use Two-Factor Authentication
Many smart lock systems now offer two-factor authentication, which adds an additional layer of security. When logging into your app, you’ll be prompted to enter a secondary code, which is typically sent to your phone or email.

Be Aware of Physical Security
Don’t overlook the importance of physical security. Make sure your doors and windows are locked when you’re not home. Use a home security system or security cameras for added peace of mind.

In conclusion, while it’s possible for a smart lock to be hacked, the chances are slim. Furthermore, the benefits of using a smart lock, such as remote monitoring and control, temporary access codes, and integration with other smart home devices, far outweigh the slight risk of a hack. Additionally, by following best security practices, you can further minimize this risk.

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