While smart locks do add convenience to our lives such as being able to remotely lock/unlock/monitor the status of our doors, send keys to friends and family and more, it’s important to realize the security and operational concerns that come with these devices.
The concept of being able to free up pocket/handbag space and conveniently replace your keys with your phone is attractive however, we must remember that these are battery-powered devices. While smart lock manufacturers do make efforts to warn you when battery levels are low, batteries can fail without warning which would render your smart lock useless and leave you stranded outside your house. The good thing is most smart locks still allow you to use your keys to open your doors manually from the so it’s still probably not the best idea to completely ditch your keys just yet.
Many smart locks provide the added benefit of being able to track your phone via GPS, detect when you are coming home and automatically unlock your door as you approach. While extraordinarily convenient, this doesn’t come without its security concerns. For example, what if you’re only passing by your house? Technically, the GPS detects your on your way home and if Bluetooth is in range, your door would automatically unlock yet you’re not going home. Or what if a person who knows where you live happened to steal your phone? In life we’ve come to learn that everything is possible and just by approaching your front door they now have an all-access pass to your home and all of it’s belongings.
The best solution would be multi-factor authentication however, a convenient method isn’t currently available. What is available though is our voice assistants such as Siri and the Google Assistant which are very easily accessible and one could easily request them to unlock the door as they approach. These assistants will normally ask for verification to perform such a functionality so there shouldn’t be any concern about someone else asking your assistant to unlock your house. While not as convenient as the auto-unlock feature marketed by some smart lock manufacturers, it definitely is more secure.
The Ideal Solution
Part of the reason for all of this advancement in technology is providing convenience. We believe the most convenient solution would combine the GPS tracking with a biometric authentication method to verify that it is actually you arriving at the door before it unlocks. This could be via a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition camera at the front door that detects when you arrive and grants you access to your home. Similar to methods like Face and Touch ID that we have become highly accustomed to.
So while smart locks do pose some concerns, their benefits and workarounds highly outweigh the negatives.
Checkout this selection of some of the top rated smart locks on Amazon: