Are Smart Card Locks Better than Regular Locks?

Smart card locks are popular security devices. They make the need to look for and find keys obsolete. Smart cards are often used in hotels in place of mechanical keys. A smart card lock key is a small, rectangular-shaped plastic card which is accepted by the door mechanism to disengage the lock. There are a variety of smart card lock keys available including: bar code, magnetic stripe and microchip cards. There are advantages and disadvantages to both smart card locks and regular locks. 

Smart Card Lock Advantages

Smart card lock keys are inserted into or swiped past corresponding card readers. The card readers process the information found in the bar code, magnetic stripe or microchip located on the smart card. The information processed by the card reader is used to move the parts within a locking system, disengage the lock and unlock the door. This computerized key card can be reprogrammed, as well, the program can be installed onto another card key. 

Regular Lock Advantages

Regular locks employ a regular key, which is a small metal tool with a blade and a bow that is used to operate the locking mechanism. The blade slides into one specific lock and bow remains out of the lock, enabling the user to turn the key. Keys are typically inexpensive and can be cut quickly and easily be a professional key cutter. 

Smart Card Lock Disadvantages

Smart cards can cause privacy and security problems due to the potential personal information programmed onto the card and the possibility of that personal information being jeopardized. Bar coded smart cards are also have security issues because the codes can be easily photocopied and read by an optical reader. Many household smart cards employ the advantages of both the computerized card and the PIN or fingerprint options. 

Regular Lock Disadvantages

Due to their size, regular lock keys can be somewhat difficult to locate. The metal tool can break off inside the lock if too much pressure is applied when turning it. Generally, a key broken inside a locking mechanism requires the replacement of the entire locking system. Regular keys that are lost render the lock useless without the assistance of a professional locksmith. A lost key found by another individual provides that person with access to your secured property.