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[personal profile] dichro
After agonizing about it for a while, I replaced Grace's door locks with Kwikset Kevo 2s. This wasn't just technology for technology's sake: I wear a backpack to work and generally lack pockets, and thus digging out a key is a hassle both leaving and returning. But convenience ever trades off security, and I felt conflicted about the idea for a long time.

The conflict wasn't, I think, really about security risks; it was that, in making the decision to change out the locks, I become accountable for all consequences. I've been burgled before, and even though I wasn't the one who was present at the time, it dramatically changed how I felt about my home. If that happens again, I'm always going to wonder if the old locks would have prevented it, particularly given how emotionally invested we are in Grace.

But realistically, the question of objective impact on security is quite separate from the psychological aversion to culpability, and my best assessment of the former is that it doesn't make much difference. While installing smart locks indubitably increases the attack surface, the external locks themselves are far from Grace's point of greatest vulnerability. We have huge and easily accessible windows. The door-frames appear to be neither reinforced nor particularly rigid. There's no Bluetooth repeater installed that might allow remote access (at the same time, we can't remotely verify that we locked our doors, which I do get very occasional OCD tingles about). Our security system shares no protocols (and therefore no vulnerabilities) with the locks. So while someone could bring along an RF amplifier or Bluetooth hacking rig to break in, that seems like a lot of unnecessary complexity when a crowbar would do the job just as fast.

At any rate, having decided to do it, installation wasn't complicated. The only surprises were, firstly, that lolcontractor had butchered the doors when installing the original locks and then tried to compensate with various forms of reinforcement that needed working around, and secondly that our front door is 2⅛" thick, and Kwikset claim not to make a thick door kit for the Kevo. This is a half-truth: the Kwikset 84221 thick door kit's bolts fit the Kevo, and even though the kit's tailpiece doesn't, the Kevo's own tailpiece slides out far enough to work unmodified.

At the end of it all, things are working well. The original keys still work (since the original locks also happened to be from Kwikset's self-rekeyable line), but I don't use them unless my phone is out of battery. Kevo's Bluetooth security appears robust, which is more than you can say for its physical security, but then see above re: physical bypass not being the thing this lock needs to protect against. So far, I'm pretty happy with the situation.
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Miki Habryn

April 2017


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