The garage door is a vulnerable point of entry for criminals looking to steal your valuable belongings. Burglars don’t need to do any physical damage to the door to get inside. A garage door hack requires only your garage door opener code to get inside. This is much simpler than you may think.
Invented in 1926, the electric garage door opener continued to be developed and, eventually, radio technology enabled the use of wireless remotes. These used a common frequency to transmit a code. All a wireless remote needed was an “on” or “off” dip switch built into a garage door opener. If you had 12 dip switches, 4,096 settings were possible.
That sounds like a lot of combinations. However, if a thief is using a computer, it could cycle through these in a fraction of a second. They could hack the door by transmitting every possible combination to a fixed code system, thereby bypassing the lock and opening your garage door. In fact, a security expert was able to modify a text messaging toy to hack his own garage door, proving how simple the process is.
Do Rolling Code Garage Doors Protect Your Home?
Rolling codes change the garage door opener code every time you use the remote control. While this can make finding a correct guess difficult, these systems can be hacked. Hackers can jam the signal with radios, so the system does not roll over to the next code. The code in use can then be stolen and transmitted with another device to open the garage door.
How to Protect Your Garage Door and Home
Manufacturers responded to this threat by shortening the time it takes for codes to expire. Some remotes can now choose from billions of combinations, and there are systems that prevent a garage door opener from responding to the same code more than once. An entry code simply cannot be duplicated.
Garage door remote controls have become more advanced in recent years. Some three-button models can safely operate up to three garage door openers. Doors sold by most garage door companies include the 893LM, which eliminates interference as well, thanks to multi-frequency Security+ 2.0™ technology. It can even operate some lighting accessories. The 373LM can operate three garage doors or gates or be used for interior lights and small appliances.
No matter what type of garage door opener or remote control you have, there is the potential for it to be hacked. You can, however, reduce your chances of a break-in by:
- Keeping your remote with you at all times, such as on your keychain, instead of inside your car.
- Installing a secure inner garage door with a deadbolt lock, anti-kick device, and wide-angle peephole.
- Installing a deadlock for when you are on vacation or otherwise away from home for a long time.
- Attaching a padlock to the door’s throw latch and disengaging the garage door opener.
- Purchasing a motion detector that’s remotely controlled and linked to your local police department.
- Using a security camera to deter thieves and record activity near your garage.
- Keeping your garage door closed.
Tri-State Lock can help you with picking out items to keep your home secure. Whether you’re looking for a trusted home locksmith to rekey your locks, or you need help getting into your locked vehicle, we’re here to help. Contact us today for all your lock-and-key related needs!