The first thing you might think in relation to a biometric safe is that it feels ultra high-tech. Shouldn’t this remain the preserve of a select band of “mission impossible” operatives?
In fact, when you want to be absolutely certain of who has access, to a biometric gun safe for example, this method of entry is an entirely reasonable option to go with. Indeed, biometric gun safes make up a large part of the biometric market, ranging from a compact pistol safe that you can store easily and accessibly, to a large rifle safe that you can literally walk in to and which can sometimes double as a safe room in the event of a burglary.
On the other hand, when you do need to get it open in a hurry, there is no chance you’ll forget the combination or need to worry that you have lost the key. One press on the fingerprint panel and you are in.
A biometrics safe is defined by an optical or capacitive scanner that reads your fingerprint (or in some cases your retina) and recognises this as a match or not to a pre-registered print and allows or denies access accordingly.
Biometric safes should provide the functionality to program in multiple fingerprints so more than one user, and in some cases temporary users, can be granted access. Some come with an emergency override key for added peace of mind too.
One small proviso though – nothing is foolproof. Whilst a safe that uses biometrics security might seem to be just that, safe, it is technically possible to copy your fingerprint. You might have left a print on a glass or another shiny surface making it entirely feasible to take a picture of the unique profile of the fingerprint and copy this on to paper or another surface. This might be enough to fool a safe that uses an optical scanner for recognition into thinking it’s your finger.
Capacitive scanners incorporated in to a biometric safe are harder to compromise. They work on the principle that your finger conducts electricity. The scanner is made up of lots of minute circuits which only record a current if they come in to contact with a ridge of the finger tip. A map of the active circuits provides a unique layout specific to your finger. Nonetheless, there are still ways round this option too.
Then again, most thieves certainly won’t go to this sort of trouble. One final possibility to consider is that the whereabouts of the safe might discovered and the safe removed. It might prove hard for the thief to get in, but at the end of the day, it is small consolation if the safe and its contents are long gone.
A biometric wall safe, securely fixed and bolted to the wall will vastly reduce the risk. For the majority of criminals, the combined deterrents of fingerprint technology and a good old fashioned bolt in the wall will be enough to persuade him or her to move on to items of less value to you.