Does your garage door have a keypad? The keypad is one of the most convenient and most common ways for homeowners to open their garage door. It saves you the trouble of having to carry a remote, it is perfect if you have children that play outside, and it can even save you some humiliation if you end up locked out of your home! What most people don’t think about, however, is that fact that a keypad introduces some new security risks into your system. Older keypads in particular can be very dangerous to use, because tech-savvy thieves will sometimes target the garage door opener as the best mechanism for gaining access to your home. Luckily, there are a couple simple steps that anyone can take to make sure that their family stays safe!

Firstly, you should change the password used to open your garage door if you’re still using the factory standard! When many keypads are installed, they already have a basic password configured because their construction means that they must have a password programmed at all times. Depending on what type of keypad you have, that password will be adjustable, oftentimes by opening up the keypad and actually changing the switches on the inside. Check your owners manual (or if you’ve lost it, check the internet) to find out how to configure a new password. This simple tip is critically important – otherwise, its the same as setting your password to be “password” – and an informed criminal might know the factory standard passcode to get into your home.

Now, if you have changed the password to something that only your family knows (and you haven’t written it down anywhere obvious!) you can consider a more serious safety move. Older garage door openers work by receiving a certain customized electronic signal from your remote or keypad, and opening when they receive that signal. The problem is, some of these older garage door openers are not very safely designed, and so a tech-savvy burglar might be able to send a barrage of fake codes at the opener until they randomly find the correct one, gaining access to your garage! This process can be done in less than thirty seconds by anyone with the expertise, so it is a serious problem! The solution is installing a new garage door opener that uses what’s called “rolling code” technology, where the correct access code is constantly changing. This sort of device cannot be beaten by the same type of hack that a burglar might use against an older opener, and is a much safer option. Check if your family is protected by a rolling code today, as this simple upgrade can make a big difference!

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