What is a lock? It seems like a simple question, but we feel the need to go deeper and explain as simply as possible what a lock is. As we explain the basics of a lock, we’ll also briefly touch on why all locks can be picked. Whether it be a safe, a door lock, or a biometric lock, they can all be “picked”. Whether someone has figured out how to or not is the real question.
Locks that cannot be picked are only un-pickable till it’s done. As of now there are only a handful of locks in the world that will be in this category, but a fault is guaranteed to be found as security firms and the lock-sport communities test them, they are all found to have weaknesses, the question for each lock, which in turn will give it it’s security level, is how well is that weakness hidden. As we go into the mechanics of locks and how they work, all will be unveiled.
The point of a lock.
There are many types of locks and they are called by many different names, but at the end of the day they are all the same. They all have two functions whatever they are, to open and to lock. It needs to be able to open, without being able to open it may as well be a wall. If you can’t open the door then it’s the same as having a wall there, hence if a lock doesn’t open it’s pointless. Locks are meant to secure your property, be it cyber, residential or property, you need access to what’s behind the lock.
A lock that doesn’t provide any security by the same reasoning is the same as having a door without a lock or latch. The door is a door, but the lock isn’t really a lock as it doesn’t provide you with any safety. Simple, locks have to open and lock.
All locks need a key, a key is a very general term when you think about it. It could be a round key, a flat key, it could be a numerical code, it could be a remote and it can even be a fingerprint. From dials to passwords, keys come in all shapes and sizes; their purpose is to open the lock.
If you think about it, you even use lots of keys every day, the pattern you draw on your phone when unlocking it, the key to your front door, to your car, your email, your Facebook they all need keys.
Picking, manipulation & decoding.
We’re going to stick with manipulation for the sake of making this article easier. Picking & decoding are both kinds of manipulation. Manipulating the lock causes the lock to open by means other than the key, the lock in order to be a lock, needs to open, hence you can manipulate it. You’re bypassing the “key” and operating it by fooling the lock. With a physical lock that requires a key in order to open, you can pick it through the keyhole. There may even be methods of manipulating the lock as there are in padlocks. To open the lock via picking you need to replicate the movement and height of the key. No matter how many pins and how loose the tension on the plug needs to be a way can be found through. It can only be very difficult to replicate, not impossible as it was made in the first place. You may even need a special tool, but all can be manipulated.
This is all well and good when it comes to a physical key, what about a code, signal or even a card (the card having a non physical key in it). Well the manipulation is in the hack, the override or a bypass. It’s designed to open when coupled with the correct key, hence it can be manipulated to be opened.
When it comes down to it, locks come in all shapes and forms. They are all a sort of mechanism (internal moving parts, kinetic energy) designed to open and lock.
In our next blog post we’ll be talking about how it is exactly that Phyiscal locking mechanism can be manipulated.
Call your local locksmith
for more information and to manipulate your lock if you need.
Holidays, the time of year when we go away to feel relaxed, the last thing we want is to come back and find a mess. It’s easy to avoid if we all take a moment out of the rush to get ready, just to make sure all points in the home are secure.
We have seen many an after burglary where the uncomfortable mess could easily have been avoided by spending 10 minutes doing a security survey. We ask you, what’s quicker, 10 minute security check or days of cancelling cards and speaking to insurance companies?
In this post we will advise of the main checkpoints and extra measures of security that can be taken to ensure your home is safe when you get back.
Doors - Sounds simple doesn’t it? Make sure every door that can be locked in the house is locked, whether it be bedroom door, back door, or the little door to the storage. The main doors are obvious, but if there are 2 or 3 locks on a door, lock them all. Doors that have a Night-latch (Top lock) can most times be double locked, don’t just let it close, lock it too. Deadbolts that can be double locked should be double locked, it only takes an extra second. UPVC Door? Lift the handle, ensure all the hooks, bolts and rollers are engaged, then lock.
Windows - Close tightly and bolt shut. If you have sash windows and they don’t have bolts, we advise having a professional come out and fit some. Best security for the windows is a key’d-bolt from the inside going into the frame or adjacent window. UPVC window handles should be fully turned and locked, double checking windows will only take a few minutes.
Internal doors – Now we know this may sound a bit pointless, if the front door is locked and everything else is locked, why bother you ask? Easy, let’s just say that the absolute worst happens – a window is broken and the burglars manage to gain access. Should the internal doors be locked, this will make their lives much harder, they need more time to get through the house and they may even be locked in the room they break into. This keeps the damage to a minimum in the worst case scenario.
Alarm systems – If you have one, use it. Alarms deter burglars, the sight of the alarm from outside and the noise cuts their burglary short. Burglars will avoid a house with an alarm fitted as it’s easier to just go the neighbour who doesn’t have one.
Lights - Lights, TV, Radio. If you can set the TV and lights to come on and different intervals of the day and night, you’re set. A time switch will do the job, inexpensive and different appliances can be set to go on at different hours of the night/ day. If you have neighbours you trust, ask them to pop in every few days to turn a light on or off and play with the curtains. Opening the curtains halfway is also a good idea, closing them and leaving them closed for the extent of the holiday is a bad idea, it’s an obvious giveaway that the house is empty and just makes it easier for the burglars, curtains closed = no one can see them.
Keys – Spare keys, it’s always a good idea to make sure that any spare keys that have been given out to friends or family for safekeeping are accounted for. With an extended or even short holiday on the books it’s best to know who has your keys. Spare keys shouldn’t be left in the house when you’re out, if they are do your best to hide them in a safe location. At least if someone does manage to make it in, they won’t make it out through the front/ back door.
Last but not least, make sure someone near your home that you trust has a spare key while you’re away. This means they can check on your property, and if you happen to misplace your key while holidaying you can just pop by to pick them up on your way home.
Happy travels, and safe holidays!