Thieves Love Your Garage Door Opener App

Thieves Can Open Your Garage with Mobile AppAre Smart Phone Apps for Garage Door Openers Safe?

Technology evolves to make our lives easier; however, convenience can present complications. The newest way of opening garage doors using your smart phone renders your house vulnerable to theft.   Many of the mobile software applications can operate home garage door openers. According to companies that test security on web and mobile apps, homeowners who’ve downloaded the device are easy prey to hackers.

How Garage Door Opener Apps Work

Apps for garage door openers utilize a technology that is based on two-way communication. This allows the opener to be controlled from a mobile phone. You can review your app’s security when you download it to your phone. There are a variety of garage opening apps that say their security system is safe, but add that they do not accept responsibility for the accuracy or security of their system.

Once the app is set up through online registration, you sync it to the garage door opener. This generally requires pushing a button on the wall controller in the garage.  All it takes is about ten seconds for a thief with a remote control. The burglar can program a button and have full access to open your garage door anytime.

Some of the more advanced apps allow you to check whether your garage door is open or closed remotely. Others show you how long it is open or closed. However, these apps do not show how the door was opened. It could have been opened by one of three methods:

  • By remote control
  • By button mounted within garage
  • By the app

Garage door apps show an icon of a garage door on your device. There is not an open or close button.  The icon may appear open or closed or a question mark is displayed.  It is difficult to distinguish if touching the question mark opens or closes the door. You may be opening the door when you thought you were closing it.  This causes problems. The door could be wide open for hours before it is discovered.  If another family member has the app on their phone or might be home, it’s easy to assume that person accessed the garage, not a thief.

How Thieves Break In Through Your Garage

Thieves monitor the opening and closing of your garage door, thereby isolating time frames that you are likely to come and go. Once a thief gains entry to your garage, it is fairly easy to enter the home. Virtually all garages have at least one entrance from the garage into the house.  Homeowners usually leave this particular entrance unlocked, assuming their garage is security enough.

The problem is allows these apps to be easily hacked is threefold: a lack of encryption, open ports, and built-in back doors. If your garage door opener was made in the early 2000s, it is even more susceptible to hacking. All it takes is a few minutes and an inexpensive toy that can be purchased at Walmart or on eBay.

Although garage door opener apps are one of the latest trends in home technology, it is wise to be leery of them. Experts agree that garage door openers with automatic features that exist on your mobile device should be disabled. Simply put, the risk outweighs the reward.

On October 12th, 2015, posted in: garage door tips by

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