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Is Your Home Security Perhaps Too Smart for Its Own Good?

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Does it seem like some things are getting smarter in this world? You don't just have a phone, you now have a smartphone. Perhaps the idea of a watch with actual hands to show hours, minutes and seconds seems curiously old fashioned now that you have a smartwatch. You might not even have a regular door lock anymore if you've upgraded to a smart lock. A smart lock can be a wonderful device when used in conjunction with other devices in order to create an effective and easy to use home security system, but sometimes these devices can be too smart.

Smart Locks and Facial Recognition

Using a smartphone app, you are able to open the lock from anywhere in your home. It can even be used with a small and inexpensive facial recognition system, which is a small camera that logs whoever enters through the door. You can add faces to its database (such as everyone who lives at the address, along with regular visitors) and an unknown person entering (whether the smart lock has been bypassed or not) will trigger an alert sent to your smartphone. You can then approve the person, sending the system back to standby mode, or you can notify the relevant authorities if the person is in fact an intruder. There are instances when the operation of a smart lock can be further integrated into other smart devices in your home. You will need to exercise caution, as this has the potential to make your home more vulnerable to intruders.

Smart Locks and Digital Home Assistants

Do you also use a voice-controlled digital home assistant? These devices can certainly be convenient, allowing you to issue certain commands via voice, whether it's wanting to hear a certain song or a weather report or to play an audio book. Provided it's compatible with your smart lock (and this depends on whether you're using an Android or Apple device), you can even unlock your door with a voice command if the devices are synced. Some devices require a so-called wake word that lets the device know you're talking to it. Others are always listening, without the need for a wake word. So theoretically, if your system was set to always listening and you happened to say the words "unlock door" for whatever reason, there is the chance that the system will do precisely this. This is an instance when your smart devices might be just a little bit too smart. How can you overcome this?

Security Settings

On some security systems you can change the settings so that an additional verbal command is needed, such as speaking a four digit code. Activating the push to talk feature on your digital home assistant is the safer bet, removing the potential for an accidental unlocking. This would also mean that any intruders would actually need to be able to touch the digital home assistant's speaker base  or your smartphone to deactivate your door lock (even if they had overheard the four digit unlock code).

While it can be incredibly convenient to unlock your doors via a voice command, it can also be wise to activate additional features (such as a pin code and only using the push to talk function) for added home security.