Are Keyless Locks Safe? Houston Locksmiths Weigh In
Did you know that the most advanced locks these days don’t even use keys? If you’re looking for topnotch modern security, many locksmiths in Texas recommend keyless access systems. This technology has a lot of advantages, both in terms of safety and convenience. Although it may seem futuristic, it’s easily within reach!
More people than ever are going keyless, both for their homes and businesses, but are they really safe? Opinions are mixed on this. In some ways, these entry systems are much more secure than standard locks. However, they have some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you install one on your door. Read on to learn more about these locks, and then decide whether they’re right for you.
Types of keyless access systems
Keyless locks come in many different flavors. The first keyless models came on the scene several decades ago, mostly for use in warehouses and industrial buildings. They were mostly number combination locks, operated by entering a code on a keypad.
In recent years, keyless access has really caught on, first to high-end offices and luxury condominiums, and now to houses and apartment buildings everywhere. Here are a few of the major types that are now available:
- Number combination: The most tried and true model of keyless entry system, these require a number password to enter. Newer models will often have a touchscreen instead of a keypad, and some allow you to program guest codes for friends and family.
- Card entry: Instead of a key, you can use an electronic card to swipe your way through the door.
- Smart locks: A whole new breed of locks are now available that you can operate with your smart phone! August, Kevo and Goji are several famous examples. These work via WiFi or Bluetooth connection, and many of them come with flashy extra features like a screen that greets you when you arrive, or remote activation abilities.
- Biometric locks: On the sci-fi end of security technology, some locks can be opened by fingerprint or retinal scan.
Advantages of keyless locks
Convenience is a top reason many people say goodbye to keys. You don’t have to carry around heavy, noisy keys anymore, and you don’t risk losing them. No more midnight calls to the emergency locksmith when you get locked out! Plus, you don’t have to make a copy of your key for every friend or babysitter you want to let into your house. Just give them the code!
There are also security benefits. Burglaries often take place because the wrong people get their hands on a copy of their victim’s keys. They might steal the key, or create a new one from pictures that people send to fraudulent “cyber locksmith” sites. An unscrupulous valet or house cleaner might make a copy. Burglars also can pick up spare keys that homeowners leave under a doormat or some other obvious hiding spot. (As any locksmith in Houston can confirm, this happens all the time.)
With keyless locks, these risks are cut to zero. Plus, they can’t be picked or opened with a “bump” key like normal locks.
Keyless locks aren’t a guarantee of safety. First of all, the door can still be kicked in or pried open with a crowbar, unless you have a really high security deadbolt in place. Furthermore, if you have a number combination lock, you need to be as careful with the passcode as you would be with a key. Never write it down, and don’t open the lock if there’s a stranger around who might peek over your shoulder.
If you have a keypad, you should also change the code regularly and wipe the buttons clean. Otherwise, a sharp-eyed burglar can tell which buttons are pressed more often, and guess your code.
Even biometric locks are not infallible, as a team of hackers at DefCon demonstrated a few years ago.
In short, no lock is perfect. However, keyless access systems have a lot of advantages, and if you’re looking for an upgrade for your front door, you should definitely consider them.