Myth Busting: Is Your Garage Door Opener A Security Risk?By Home Security Source Mar 8 , 2010 | 10:02:29 amPosted in: DIY Safety, Home
For years stories have circulated about the ability of burglars to drive up and down streets pushing a garage door remote control unit until they found a door that would open and allow them to enter a home.
Is this story true or just a myth? …
Garage door openers resulted from World War II technology. The first remote controls simply beamed a radio frequency signal at a garage door receiver and the door was opened. This wasn’t very secure, especially with neighbors unintentionally opening one another’s doors.
So manufacturers turned to dip switches in the openers that would allow them to set up to 256 different codes. In most cases that rid us of the problem of dueling remotes, but it still wasn’t as secure as most homeowners would like. Thieves could still drive through a neighborhood and find another home with the same type of opener and the same code. It was also possible, though highly unlikely, for a thief with a “code grabber” to stand near you as you remotely opened your garage door and record the code to use later.
In the 1990s the next and current generation of openers was introduced that uses transmitters and receivers relying on rolling code technology. A new code is randomly generated each time the door is opened creating millions of possible codes.
So unless you are using a 15+-year-old remote and receiver, you can feel secure that the convenience of a garage door opener won’t compromise your security.
But you are still vulnerable if you leave your remote in a car where it can be stolen. As an added measure of security when you leave home for a vacation, consider unplugging your opener and locking your garage door with a keyed lock.
And, of course, be sure to have a monitored home alarm system for peace of mind year-round.
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