A garage door opener is an incredibly convenient feature to have. Not having to get out of your car and manually open the door every time you arrive or leave saves a lot of time and frustration. However, some garage door openers can actually pose a security issue. Believe it or not, your garage door opener can be hacked. This may seem hard to fathom; after all, don't hackers only go after computers and smartphones? Think about this, though - if a hacker can hack into someone's computer, why would they not be able to hack into your garage door opener? Your garage door can't be more complicated than a computer, right?
How can garage door be hacked?
A garage door opener that makes use of a fixed code can be hacked using nothing more than a kid's toy. To understand how this is possible, you need to understand how your electric garage door opener works. Basically, the garage door opener's motor has a receiving module that responds to the waves transmitted by your garage door remote transmitter. A remote that sends a fixed code to the Garage door when a button is pressed can be easily figured out using an old texting-type toy that be used to pick up simple frequencies.
How can you prevent your garage door from being hacked?
You need to make sure that your garage door opener uses a rolling code and not a fixed code. A rolling code makes use of an algorithm that changes the code every time it's used, making it much more difficult for hackers to figure out. Check your garage door opener manual to see what kind of system it uses. If your system uses a rolling code or is indicated as a security plus or a security 2.0 system, then you should be relatively safe. If not, you'll want to have your garage door opener upgraded. If the manual doesn't say or you no longer have the manual, unscrew the casing of your remote to check and see if there is a DIP switch. If there is, it generally means that it uses a fixed code.
Additional security measures
In addition to making sure that your garage door opener makes use of a rolling code instead of a fixed code, consider using additional safety measures. Using a manual lock on your garage door may not seem very convenient on a daily basis, but you should use one if you are going out of town for more than a few days. This way, if a hacker manages to break through your code, they will still have to break through your physical lock. You should also make sure the garage is well lit - most thieves won't want to take the risk of trying to break in through your garage if it exposes them at night. Not to mention that a motion-sensing light can be very effective at scaring them away.
Don't assume that your electric garage door opener will keep thieves at bay - thieves with hacking abilities will have an easy time opening your garage door if it operates on a fixed code. So make sure that you don't have a fixed code system and upgrade it to a rolling code system if you do.