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How to use your Smart Lock safely



Smart locks are one of the basic elements of smart home movement. Manufacturers like August Yale and Schlage have given us smart locks that work with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. Smart Locks provide more comfort and the ability to see what's going on at your doorstep from anywhere, but there are some risks. Here are some useful tips to keep your Smart Lock safe.

Use a PIN for voice unlocking.

If your Smart Lock is connected to a voice assistant, use a PIN to unlock it with voice commands. It's a track, but it's possible to create workarounds with IFTTT to avoid using the PIN. It is also possible for someone outside your home to ask your voice assistant to unlock the door if he only has some information about your device.

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Chris Monroe / CNET

You can read more about here but using a PIN for voice unlocking is an absolute must for the security of intelligent locks. By default, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa need a spoken PIN for voice unlock. You can use one with several smart locks, including August Smart Lock Pro Kwikset Obsidian and . Yale insures SL Touchscreen Deadbolt .

Creating Codes for Individuals

Using individual codes, you can not only ensure your safety, but also keep track of who is coming and going from home. It's a good idea not just to provide a code for friends, family, guests and commercial services. Most locks include the option for at least 10 codes. Some, such as Nest X Yale Castle allow an unlimited number of individual codes.

Consider one code for each household member, one for guests and one for professional services. Intelligent lock apps let you know what code or user unlocked the door in a companion app activity log.

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The Nest X Yale lock contains an unlimited number of user codes.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Use Scheduling

Many intelligent locks, such as Hampton's array provide the option to schedule these codes. This means that you can set the code for the dog walker to only be valid from 10:00 to 14:00. Monday to Friday.

If you rent your home or guests stay over the weekend, you can create an expiring code that works every hour of the day between specified calendar dates. In this way, you can give access to your home to the people who need it, but only during the time they need it, not more.

Enable Additional Features

There are a number of additional features that use Smart Locks to further enhance your security. Decoy numbers, as found on the Kwikset Obsidian are numbers that can light up on a keypad before you type in your code. If you enter the fake numbers that vary before the code, you will need to use more of the keyboard over time. Also, it's harder for potential intruders to guess your code due to fingerprints or button wear.

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Automatic re-lock is a simple feature that many locks offer. She locks her door after a certain time. So make sure that your smart lock, if you leave the house without remembering to lock the door, will do this for you.

Keeping Up-to-Date Firmware

Last but not least, keep your Smart Lock and its apps up-to-date. Manufacturers can use software and firmware updates to fix security vulnerabilities and improve the performance of your lock. Check your apps regularly and update them when new firmware or software is available.

Owning a Smart Lock can be life-saving if a friend or family member needs to turn off something or look at your home while away from home. As large as intelligent locks can be and as look as stylish as some smart locks it is still important to adjust the settings immediately to create the safest home for you.

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