People in the UK are afraid smart locks are leaving our doors open to criminals, according to a survey by a specialist insurer. As part of a move to ‘smart’ homes, sales of smart locks have risen by consumers embrace. The survey for Ecclesiastical suggested more than a quarter (29pc) of people in the UK are interested in buying and installing the technology in their homes.

As the Gloucester-based insurer says, services such as Amazon Key enable couriers to open a customer’s front door and leave packages inside their home. The food retailer Waitrose is trialling smart locks for delivery drivers to enter a customer’s home while they are out, and put their groceries away. But while many of us (34pc) believe smart locks are convenient and will save us time, the survey also found almost two thirds (63pc) of us are concerned about security risks.

Nearly two thirds (62pc) of people surveyed believe smart locks could be hacked, while over half (56pc) think smart lock technology services could put their house more at risk of burglary. The survey found differences in attitudes towards security across age groups. More than two in five people aged 55+ (42pc) strongly agree they are concerned about security risks involved with smart locks, compared to less than a quarter of those aged 18 to 24 (23pc).

Also the survey found gender differences in attitudes towards security risks. Just under a third of female respondents (32pc) strongly agree that smart lock technology services could put their house more at risk of burglary, compared to just a quarter of male respondents (25pc).

Sarah Willoughby, Art and Private Client Development Director at Ecclesiastical, said: “Our research has found most people in the UK are concerned about security risks associated with smart lock technology. As the adoption of smart lock technologies becomes more mainstream, it’s important that we consider the risks associated with smart lock technology systems. Owners of smart locks should consider how best to protect themselves and cyber insurance can offer a safety net should the worst happen.”

Comment

Tom Tahany, Operations Manager at Blackstone Consultancy said: “Smart lock technology development is still in its early phases and the devices available on the market today vary in quality. While the concept of smart lock technology services can be safe and secure if they are bespoke and specified correctly, budget smart lock devices available online or from your local hardware store may be vulnerable. We recommend that people consider all the security risks before installing ‘off the shelf’ smart lock technology services in their homes.”

Ecclesiastical, with Blackstone, has launched new guidance to help people understand the cyber risks they face. Visit www.ecclesiastical.com/cybersafety.

Last year, Ecclesiastical launched an Art and Private Client policy which includes cyber cover with home systems damage.