Biometric Door Locks: How Secure Are They?

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Security

From as long as there have been humans, people have found ways to protect themselves and their possessions. First, there were caves and castles, then layers upon layers of cryptographic software. Regardless of the method, the well-being of our lives and possessions has always been a primary concern.

Today, our methods have grown exponentially in sophistication, but the objective is the same: personal security. One of the biggest advances in security to come along in recent years is biometrics, a method made available today at Action Lock Doc.

What is Biometrics and How Does It Work?

How many times have you looked at your fingertips and noticed the patterns of ridges and valleys? Those patterns are a product of human evolution that allow us to grip things better, but one of the unintended benefits of those patterns is as an identification tool, since throughout history, no two people have ever shared identical fingerprints.

Biometrics is a technology based on calculations and measurements based on the human body. Biometric devices use these characteristics as a form identification and access control. There are several different biometric tools that read the patterns of the iris, wrist veins, geometry of the hand, voice recognition, and more. The most common, at least in home security, are fingerprints. Just as law enforcement uses fingerprints as a method to help positively identify a person, biometrics uses these same methods to identify a person and either grant or deny access to an area.

How Does a Fingerprint Door Lock Work?

Anyone who looks closely at a fingerprint door lock will notice a small blank pad that resembles the glass on a touch screen, because that’s basically what it is. Place your finger on that screen and the magic starts.

Remember the first time you set up the Touch ID feature on your smartphone? You had to touch the screen in multiple ways for the software to get a detailed reading of your fingerprint. From this, it made a permanent template of your unique fingerprint to compare with whenever you or anyone else wanted access in the future.

In any subsequent touch, if a fingerprint matched the template that was recorded in the initial scan, access was granted, and the lock opened. If the fingerprint didn’t match, the lock remained closed.

Again, the law enforcement analogy is a good one. When a fingerprint expert is examining a print, they don’t look at the print as a whole. Instead, they look for several minutia points located on the fingertip pads to link the print with a person. Biometrics does the same thing except by setting up an algorithm with those points as a reference. If a fingerprint matches the algorithm stored in the lock, the door opens.

What to Look for in a Fingerprint Door Lock?

Now that you know something about fingerprint door locks, you might be anxious to get one for your doors. Not so fast. You should know a little more before you get started.

First, a homeowner should buy a lock that also has a keypad or a keyhole in case of a power failure. You don’t want to get stuck in the rain because of a problem. Another thing to check is the FRR (False Rejection Rate) of the lock. Get one with a low FRR to make sure you can get in. Also, buy a lock that is made of either brass or steel so a tool can’t be used to break the lock off the door. Finally, make sure you are buying a lock that allows multiple people to store their fingerprints in case you want more than yourself to use it.

Fingerprint door locks are pretty cool. And, as the technology gets better and prices come down, so look forward to practically everyone having one.

Read through our useful guide for more information

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