Buyer Beware: What You Need to Know Before Signing Up For Amazon Key

As online sales increase, package theft is on the rise. Now along comes Amazon Key – the new “in-home“ delivery service Amazon hopes will reduce the risk of stolen packages.

Problem is, we’re hearing lots of warning bells with this new service. Here’s what you should know about Amazon Key before you sign up.

Must Buy Amazon-Only Equipment

First, you have to buy a specific type of Amazon camera and smart lock. Using the camera means Amazon can see the delivery person bringing in your packages and groceries as well as when you come and go. While that may not be so bad, if the person moves out of the frame, you won’t know where they went or what they’re doing. If you bump the camera, suddenly it’s recording you and your family moving around your home. All of that video is being stored in the cloud, making you and your family vulnerable to a variety of potential problems. Not to mention that this could turn into Big Brother.

Vulnerable to Hacking

This setup could be vulnerable to hackers. Hackers can use the equipment to control other smart devices or worse yet, to steal your personal information or access the equipment to get into your home.

Doesn’t Coordinate with Home Alarm Systems

The Amazon system does not work in conjunction with a home alarm system. That means you must disarm your system for the timeframe during which Amazon is expected to make your delivery. That could be hours! Plus, if you forget to disarm before the delivery person arrives, your alarm will go off when they open the door, likely resulting in a costly false alarm response.

Relying on the Trustworthiness of the Drivers

We’re glad to hear Amazon does background checks on their Amazon Key drivers. But the drivers could still be subcontractors and not actual employees.  Either way, you’re letting a complete stranger into your house. This is not the same as carefully vetting your housekeeper or maintenance crews before allowing them to enter when you’re not home. Big red flag!

What We Recommend

Here are our recommendations for keeping track of what happens at your front door while also staying in control of home security:

 1.   Set up security cameras at your front door and other entrances to keep track of who comes and goes.

2.   Install a smart doorbell that works with your smartphone. Then, when someone rings the bell, you can see and talk to the person, then decide if you want to disarm the security system to let them in.

3.   As soon as approved tradespeople leave your home, always arm the security system again via your smartphone.

Give Froula Alarm a call at 206-575-1962, or visit our website to get more information on the solutions we recommend and can install to keep your family and property safe.