Think keypads are a safe option for access control? Think again.

Many people who would like an electronic access control system, but don’t have the budget for card readers or biometrics, assume that they are left with just one option: keypads.

But let’s take at look at why keypads are not a good or safe choice.

To begin, passcodes can be easily shared. Or, perhaps even worse, someone can simply watch another person enter the number from afar and then use it themselves. And, the keypad has no way of knowing who entered the code.

Next, the keypad must be mounted on the outside – or unsecure side – of the door, so users can physically touch it to enter the code. That not only makes it vulnerable to damage and bad weather, but a carrier of many germs, as well.

So what if we lived in a perfect world, where the weather was always perfect and there was no such thing as germs? There is still a major reason why you should not use a keypad for access control: Because anyone with a screwdriver can easily unlock the door.

Do you find that hard to believe? Read on to see how it’s as simple as one, two…that’s it. Two easy steps.

Say we have a door with a typical linear keypad with a relay that’s connected to an electric strike. When a good guy comes up to the locked door, he simply enters the code, and voilà, the door opens. Perfect.

But now say a bad guy comes to the door and wants to break in. First, he can quickly remove the reader, which is held in place with just two screws. And thanks to the $10 tamper proof screwdriver he easily found online, the tamper resistant screws are useless in preventing him.

Now that he has the reader off the wall, he simply uses the screwdriver to short two pins, and just like that he’s in – likely in less time than it took you to read this blog post.

VIZpin’s Smartphone Access Control solution’s reader is mounted on the inside – or safe side – of the door it’s protecting, where it can’t be accessed by vandals. And, because Smartkeys are saved securely in an app on each user’s phone (and because people don’t share smartphones) they can’t get into the wrong hands.