Used Smart Locks May Be A Risky Investment
Many consumers prefer used products to new products, because they are sold at half the original cost. Of course, there are some risks that go along with investing in used products, but overall it is genuinely a save investment. However, this cannot be said about used Smart Locks and other Smart Home gadgets, such as thermostats, doorbells and cameras. These devices have a companion app, which acts as the remote control, giving users the ability to create rules to control the device.
In order to utilize the companion app, it must first be downloaded to an iOS or Android device. In some cases, the process will require the creation of a personal account, with a unique PIN. This will require inputting your personal information and if the app utilizes geofencing to find your location, your home address may also be exposed.
The risk with investing in a used Smart Lock is the previous owner may be able to access the device on any given day. This means that the previous owner could very well unlock your front door, while you are at home or away. Even if the lock is factory reset, it still may not revoke the previous owner’s access. The new owner will now be aware of the security vulnerability, which could potentially put their home at risk of a burglary.
Smart Home devices have tools to get the owner in, but nothing to get them out, if they decide to sell it to someone else. Manufacturers are note really concerned about the problem that will leave the second owner vulnerable.
Even if a factor reset is performed, does not necessarily mean it will totally prevent the first owner from accessing the device. The companion app will probably not have a screen that shows the second owner the people that have access to the lock. The new owner may find an unfamiliar phone attached to the lock.
The only option is to try to factory reset the Smart Lock and if the phone number does not disappear, it will require a call to the device maker. A customer service representative should be able to remove the primary owner removed, so they can no longer access the lock. With this said, the representative will probably still recommend a factory reset, before they remove the user on their end.
Just imagine the risks of investing in a Smart Home that belonged to someone else. This will mean the old owner will have access to every device connected to the home network. Homebuyers that are interested in investing in a Smart Home should definitely talk to the realtor or seller about the transfer of the connected devices installed in the home. The realtor should have a list of the connected device and should point the homebuyer to the websites for the manufacturers.
A factory reset will probably not be enough to unlink the device from the previous owner’s account. It goes much further than this, since a factory resent will wipe the data, but all the connected devices remain in the database, which is the case with a Smart Home hub. In some cases, the old owner will need to remove the device from their account, before the new owner can connect it to their account.
Buying a used Smart Lock or other interconnected device is a great way to save money. Before investing, be sure to request the old owner to remove the device from their account. Follow this up with a factory reset and a call to the device manufacturer if needed.
To learn more about Smart Locks, please click on the following Amazon link.