Criminals are always evolving in terms of techniques and behaviour and to counter this, security companies are always coming up with new products and technologies to beat the criminal. For this article, we contacted a major UK locksmith for their expert advice on 5 high tech ways how you can improve your home security, beat the burglar and protect your home and car. For additional information in regards to home security check out their ITCC Locksmiths London Blogs.
1. Smart Locks
A smart lock is an electronic lock that unlike a traditional lock doesn’t have a pin system, keyhole or key. Instead, the lock interacts with other devices via wifi or Bluetooth connection. Smart locks can be unlocked in a number of ways, usually either a fob system or by an app you can install on your phone. You can send people temporary keys with the app setting a time limit on how long this key will work for.
- More Secure: Smart locks are potentially more secure than traditional locks as the traditional way of bypassing locks is now obsolete. No longer can a criminal pick or bump the lock, or snap a euro cylinder.
- Keyless: No worrying about losing your key. As Smart locks are keyless locks you will no longer need to worry about losing a set of keys and constantly getting new keys cut.
- Can boost internal security: Smart locks are not just for your front door, you can have smart locks installed on any door in your home. This enables you to control who has access to certain rooms of your house. For example, you may want to restrict access to your bedroom or keep your garage off-limits to the kids.
- Convenience: Smart locks make it easier for you to control who has access to your home. Some smart locks enable you to give temporary keys to people which last a set amount of time or allow you to lock and unlock your door remotely, this makes smart locks more convenient than traditional locks.
Smart locks do have their advantages over their traditional counterparts, however like all new technology they do come with a number of disadvantages which can be seen below.
- Cost: The cost of traditional locks can range from £10 to £100 depending on the level of security. While the cheapest smart lock is a little under £200 presently. Smart locks are relatively new pieces of technology and with all new technology there comes an extra cost and with all new technology, this cost will come down in time.
- Vulnerability to hackers: Smart locks eliminate the need for traditional keys and thus eliminate the traditional manner to bypass a lock such as bumping, picking, lock snapping etc However a tech-savvy hacker can gain access by hacking into the lock directly or by targeting your security network basically gaining access to your router and anything which is connected to your wifi. To overcome this threat you will need to invest in a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for your router. This will help ensure hackers will not be able to intercept your virtual key and gain access to your home.
- Reliance On Phones: Many smart locks are locked and unlocked by using apps on your smartphone. So if let’s say your smartphone was lost or stolen and you’re the only one with access, this means you have basically lost the key to your home and will require the services of a locksmith to replace the locks which will work out to be quite expensive when compared to a traditional lock.
- Batteries and Electricity: Smartlocks need electricity and this electricity comes from a battery within the lock. Eventually, this battery will die. And if it dies while you are out, you will be locked out, meaning, yes you got it you will have to call out a locksmith yet again. Ensure you pay attention to the battery life of your battery and replace it before it is needed.
2. Smart DoorBells
Smart doorbells are a relatively recent invention being introduced in 2013 by Jamie Siminoff. A Smart Doorbell is basically a doorbell with a few enhancements including a camera, two-way audio and motion sensor. Smart doorbells will connect to your smartphone using wifi and an app allowing you to view the camera and speak to whoever is at your door. All of these enhancements can help improve the security of your home. By the following
Stay Safe – Smart Doorbells allow you to see and communicate with whoever is at your door, this especially helps when an unexpected visitor pays a visit to your home. In addition to not having to open the door the smart doorbell will record everything so in case the worst was to happen everything will be on camera.
Keep an eye on things when you’re away- Most smart doorbells are equipped with a motion sensor which automatically turns on and will alert you when the camera has detected movement, so wherever you are in the world as long as you have an internet connection you can see who is at your front door.
3. CCTV to Improve Your Home Security
Closed Circuit television also known for short as CCTV has come on leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. No longer do you have to worry about fuzzy images or taping over old film. Not only has the quality of CCTV dramatically increased but the costs have decreased. Many CCTV systems are now wireless operating on batteries and connecting via wifi using your home internet connection.
In addition to this many CCTV manufacturers operate a cloud service meaning all the data will be stored remotely for a certain period of time, however, this does require a monthly subscription service. Moden CCTV using your wifi and a special design app on your smartphone is capable of streaming live images to your phone, no matter where you are in the world., allowing you to keep an eye on things wherever you are.
CCTV not only acts as a deterrent but if a crime were to occur, everything will be caught on camera aiding the police in identifying the perpetrator and used in a court of law to prosecute.
4. Motion Sensor Lighting
Lighting is hugely important for home security. Criminals like darkness as it hides their shady activities. If you take this darkness away, so too will you reduce your chances of being burgled. Place lights near any accessible windows and doors, and is a great cheap way to improve your home security.
We highly recommend purchasing LED motion sensor lighting as this will not disturb your neighbours or yourself at night but will illuminate the suspicious activity of someone who has come too close to your property during the night. Furthermore LED lights consume notably less electricity compared to their halogen alternatives, helping you save money on your energy bills.
5. Home Security System
Home security systems are the most expensive option out of this list and sometimes require a monthly subscription however they are an incredibly effective deterrent. The best systems offered by companies such as ADT incorporate Smart Doorbells, CCTV and Alarms which can all be controlled from your smartphone.
Offering you a comprehensive system which also includes smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. All of these will greatly enhance the security of your home and offer the greatest piece of mind. For approved suppliers for home security systems please check out the National Security Inspectorate.
This Post was written by Callan Wells-Raynes, a manager at ITCC Locksmiths in London. ITCC has over 12 years of experience to improve your some security with branches in Manchester and Birmingham.