Tips for Making Sure Your Garage Door Opener Isn’t Susceptible to Hacking
This may sound odd to some homeowners, but someone breaking into your home’s garage door opener without being near it and without damaging property is very much possible. This is because of the new technology used in many of the garage door openers on the market today. In fact, homeowners often don’t have a choice because newly built homes will already come installed with them. Some homeowners have defended the risk because of all the conveniences that it offers whereas others would rather go without garage door openers. Fortunately, you don’t have to have your opener removed, as there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of being hacked.
Protect Your Garage Door Opener Remote
One of the most common mistakes made by homeowners is leaving their remotes in places where they can be easily stolen, such as inside your car. Thieves understand that there is much more profit to be made from your garage than your car and thus will often leave things undisturbed so you won’t notice. So, why would they want your remote? Because of preventive measures being implemented into the garage door opener such as rolling-code technology, it has become much harder for hackers to get into your garage. However, if they have that remote in their possession, the process becomes extremely easy for them. So, as much as it may pain you, always carry your remote with you or at least attempt to hide it from plain view. Doing so can save you a lot of future headaches.
Utilize Old Locking Methods
When you’re away from home for a while, such as during a vacation, your garage door is at its most vulnerable because thieves have plenty of time to begin hacking into your garage. Fortunately, a low-tech method can stop that from happening. If you are leaving for vacation or simply a prolonged period, make sure that you purchase a heavy-duty lock. Even if the hackers are able to begin lifting your door, the lock will act as a second line of defense. In most cases, thieves won’t want to be around the area too long, and attempting to break the lock will definitely cause some attention.
Install Security Technology Onto Your Garage Door Opener
If you’re planning a garage door installation or simply making a few garage door repairs, install security technology onto your opener. Fortunately, because of innovations in app technology, homeowners can now keep an eye on their garages via their smartphones. However, because no method is 100% hacker-proof, you should utilize multiple lines of defense. So, what do these security features allow you to do? Although each app will have its own type of security, most will allow you to see a live stream of your garage and will provide you with the ability to set off an alarm to scare off the thieves.
Update Your Garage Door Opener
As mentioned, most garage door openers feature rolling code technology. This technology provides your remote with an almost infinite number of door codes, meaning that each time you go to open your door, the code has changed. This was implemented into newer models because a fixed door code was so easy for hackers to obtain. Once they had your code, they could open your door as many times as they wanted. Now, if you are living within an older home, you may still have the old fixed-code technology within your opener. In this case, it is important to contact a garage door repair professional. They will be able to educate you about the newer models as well as install a new opener for you.
Disable Your Wi-Fi
If you are planning to leave for a very long time (vacation, business trip, weekend trip, etc.), you may want to think about disabling your Wi-Fi before you leave. Unless someone is staying behind, there is simply no reason for you to have it on. Disabling your Wi-Fi cuts off the signal to your home, thus making it almost impossible for hackers to go into it. If you choose to disable your Wi-Fi, features such as live streaming and alarms from your garage door opener may not work as well. Therefore, you should take this into heavy consideration before applying this tip.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
One of the most surprising things for a homeowner is finding out that a garage door is actually connected to the home’s internet via Wi-Fi. It is because of this reason that you should consider implementing two-factor authentication. Hackers will often attempt to hack your internet in order to gain access to your garage door. In addition, they may even be able to steal important financial information, such as your online banking username and password. One of the best ways to combat this type of theft is to have two-factor authentication. Most internet providers offer this and can show you how to set it up on your specific model.
So, what exactly is two-factor authentication? It basically adds another layer of defense when you or a hacker attempts to gain access to your internet. For example, your router may ask you to input not only your password but also answer a personal question, such as the name of your childhood crush. Always use a question that none of your friends or family know the answer to. Avoid common questions such as those that include the schools you attended because that is often public knowledge.
Change Your Wi-Fi Name
When homeowners set up their internet for the first time, they will often input their last names when prompted for a username. This is a bad idea if you wish to protect your garage door from being hacked. If you input your name into the router, anyone nearby can see that signal. Don’t believe us? Disconnect your Wi-Fi, and attempt to reconnect it. You’ll see a whole list of internet signals from around your area, many of them clearly named after the people who own them.
This means that potential hackers have the same information. They can use this information to pull up to a neighborhood and to see clearly who owns what home. This allows them to begin scoping out each garage for the best loot. So, what should you do instead? Simple, provide your router with a random series of numbers and letters. This should make it more difficult for hackers and thus frustrate them enough so that they move on to someone else.