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  • Writer's pictureMark Turnquest, CIPM

What Secures More, Traditional Locks vs Smart Locks?

The term "Traditional Locks" is not something that many people are used to hearing. Granted, there are man different types of regular locks that are not automated, but up until smart locks carved out space for themselves, these old locks were just called Locks.

Locks have been a staple of homes, and the foundation of home security for centuries. They tend to be taken for granted, and it seems that locks have faded gradually into the background of security, even though they still hold a great amount of significance.

Technology has done a lot of good for the world, and it even makes some of the most complicated tasks easier than ever to complete. This same driving force that birthed a generation of smart locks that many homeowners have fallen in love with. Smart locks promised to revolutionize the way people looked at locks because they allowed you to accomplish much more than what a regular lock could.

High-Tech-Locks - Fingerprint, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi enabled Systems - are transforming the way you enter your home, threatening to make house keys as obsolete as rotary phones.

"Smart Locks are more convenient, but not any stronger than regular locks", says Joey Lachausse of the Associated Locksmiths of America.

In testing, a team of British lock hackers easily opened a fingerprint-reading lock by inserting a paperclip into its backup key chamber. During a power outage, some electronic locks fail or disengaged, forcing you to use a backup key-but then your system isn't key-less, is it?

Circuit boards that control electronic locks can fail.

"It's a sale tool", says Robert Siciliano, a security expert for Schlage Locks. Siciliano's home is outfitted with a touch-pad lock that glows blue and can be activated via cell phone. "The first thing people see when they walk to my door is that touch-pad, and they want to know all about it", Siliciano says. "It's an attention getter".

Do High-Tech Locks Make Your House More Secure? Not Much.

Burglars mostly enter you home through an unlocked door or by forcing open a window or door. In fact, criminals admit that security systems with camera surveillance-not locks (smart otherwise) -are the biggest deterrent against burglaries.

"Burglars are criminals of opportunity", says Glen Mowrey, a retired North Carolina deputy police chief. "They're looking for the least resistance".

A bio-metric deadbolt lock, which scans fingerprints, can cost $300+ and be less secure than "Consumer Reports" top rated Medeco Maxum 11WC6OL, a regular keyed lock that costs $190 . In CR tests, the Medeco Maxum defied forced entry-the most common type of home break-in - better than the high-tech locks tested.

"Smart Locks are more convenient, but not any stronger than regular locks", says Joey Lachausese of the Associated Locksmiths of America.

In fact, some smart locks are easier to defeat and can be more annoying to use than traditional locks.

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