August Smart Locks
Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
All August smart locks connect over Bluetooth for keyless entry. That means you and your phone or Apple Watch have to be close by (about 30 feet or so) to unlock your door. You can also pay a little more to get their Connect WiFi Bridge so you can unlock your door from anywhere with a WiFi connection. Visiting Grandma and need to check and make sure you locked up your house? Just open the app and check the door status. You can also give guests virtual keys and keep track of who comes and goes at your abode. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant. These smart locks also have an auto-lock that let you set your door to automatically lock up to 30 minutes after you leave. Or auto-unlock when you get home so if you hands are full, no fumbling for your phone.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Smart locks are one of those connected devices that seem to worry lots of people. The pros: They offer a lot of convenience with multiple ways to unlock the door to your home, a way to track who comes and goes from your home, they can allow you give out a keypad number to people like a babysitter and then revoke that when they no longer need access, and they can help you make sure you locked your front door when your anxiety kicks in on vacation. The cons: They can be vulnerable to any number of things such as power outages, lost or compromised phones, ransomware attacks on the company who made your lock, product security vulnerabilities, WiFi and/or Bluetooth vulnerabilities, home hub vulnerabilities, bad software updates, data leaks, and more.
With all that said, how do August Smart Locks stack up? On the security side, in 2019, security researchers found a vulnerability in a version of August's smart locks that use the Connect add-on to connect to WiFi that could let hackers take over your home WiFi. The versions of August smart locks with WiFi built-in didn't seem to be vulnerable to this security threat.
On the privacy side of things, August seems to do better. August doesn't sell your personal information, which is good. They also say they will only use your personal information to send you relevant content where they have your consent to do so. This is also good. All in all, August seems to do a good job with users’ privacy. Just be careful with what you share with third parties such as Alexa or Google Assistant as they can collect data on you too.
What’s the worst that could happen? Well, it’s entirely possible August could suffer a ransomware attack where bad people hold all smart lock access hostage unless August pays up. You can’t get into your home, your pup really has to pee, and things go south from there. You and your pup really don’t want that.
Tips to protect yourself
- Check out tips to ensure your smart lock safety
- Maintain a strong door
- Choose a secure access code
- Set up two-factor authentication
Can it snoop on me?
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number
Personal Information about other people who have access to your Products, such as other family members, guests, and service providers like gardeners, house cleaners and/or others.
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
Older versions of the August Smart Lock that pair with the August Connect may make your Wifi network vulnerable to hackers. August was notified about the vulnerability in December 2019, but may not have fixed the problem.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
August accepts reports of vulnerabilities through [email protected]
August Smart Lock Flaw Opens Your Wi-Fi Network to HackersPC Mag
August Smart Lock security flaw gives hackers full access to your Wi-Fi networkAndroid Central
Cracking the August SmartLock: WiFi Password Eavesdropping Made EasyBitdefender
Can Smart Locks Be Hacked? And How to Prevent ItDIY Smart Home Solutions
Use A Smart Lock? Get In The Sea, 73% Of Security Professionals SayForbes
Should I get a smart lock? The pros and cons of going digital on your doorUSA Today
Best Smart Locks of 2021Consumer Reports
The Best Smart Locks for 2021PC Mag
Smart door locks in the US miss out on real privacy. This company proves itCNET
Can Smart Locks be Hacked? (2021)Smart Locks Guide
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