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Tips

Security tips!

In this section, we regularly post locksmith service related news and share practical security tips!

  1. What is the lock picking technique? Here are some tips on the ways to prevent lock bumping.

Lock picking technique, also known as lock bumping, is a popular method used by burglars. It’s been known to be an easy way of breaking into one’s home. This post will examine the ways of preventing lock bumping from occurring to your home.

Lock bumping facts:

According to statistics provided by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) nearly ⅔ of all break-ins occur with no sign of forced entry. Unlocked doors and windows still pose a large security risk, however the lock picking technique is still a popular choice in regards to breaking into someone’s home. Most Locksmiths see these cases on a daily basis, and therefore pose certain tips on how to prevent unwanted guests from entering your home. This technique is popular because one does not necessarily need to break the cylinder in order to enter your home. This technique works when little pressure is applied to a key, therefore it results in the lock becoming accessible. Most times a key is not necessary, some criminals just use screwdrivers or hammers in order to apply that pressure which ends up opening the lock. 

FACTS:

*Burglars can gain access to your home within minutes by using this technique.

*More than 90% of Americans have old style cylinder locks on their doors, which is vulnerable concerning lock bumping.

*95% of hardware stores like Home Depot, that sell brand new locks, are also vulnerable to lock bumping.

*Little skill is required for key bumping

*No evidence of forced entry or damage when this technique is used.

*One can purchase a key bumping set for as little as $15.00 

How does it work?

Bump keys almost work like a master key that is able to gain access into all types of locks; because of the mechanics of pin tumbler locks, that don’t require a distinct key. Bumping literally entails playing or changing the mechanics of the key, which can be done very simply. As you can see the image on the right shows various keys that have patterned or textured bumps, these bumps can be manipulated to fit into the lock, and therefore, gain access to any lock. They are able to be manipulated when the key is entered into the lock, one just needs to tap the key and the pins inside the lock will move, resulting in the door opening. 

Bumping a lock –

In order to bump a lock, the key is entered into the lock and is lightly tapped with a hammer in order for the pins to lift. It’s a very simple procedure that requires little to no skill. One inserts a random key, applies pressure to the key, and the pins simply lift. Once the pins lift, one is able to turn the key and the lock opens. 

Why should this be of any concern?  

Considering we have given you the basics in order to understand how easy it is to break into someone’s home – watch this clip from CBS channel 5 news to preview how hasty one can use the bump key method to enter a home. 

(YOUTUBE LINK) — and then —  

This method can be learned in under an hour and requires no prior locksmith skill. Tutorials on how to bump keys are available on the internet, and have become easily accessible.

Even though several states and federal laws absolutely prohibit the distribution of locksmith devices to anyone without a license to use locksmith products or have a legitimate businesses; people are still able to obtain these products illegally or through miscellaneous websites.

Another crucial aspect of lock bumping is the home insurance factor. Considering there is little to no forensic evidence of a break in, it poses a problem when it comes to house insurance claims. Many insurances companies in the past have rejected to pay legitimate insurance claims. 

Vulnerable Locks:

Vulnerable locks are considered to be locks bought from a local hardware store, or hardware chains such as the Home Depot or Lowe’s. Since these are mass produced locks they lack the high security aspect of more professionally made locks. The main issue with mass produced locks is that they are all made in a similar fashion, therefore are not unique and easily duplicated. Professional lock manufacturers such as Medeco, Assa, and Kaba created their own version of bump-resistant locks. These locks contain high security cylinders, often with a UL 437 or equivalent rating which are difficult to pick at or manipulate. Some companies have even implemented patented sidebar mechanisms within their cylinders that make it difficult to use the bumping key method. Another useful technique to avoid key bumping is shallow drilling. This means that one or more of the pin stacks is drilled slightly more shallow than the rest, this simple technique makes it more challenging and time consuming to open the lock. 

Tip: Check your locks for the markings in the photo below. If your locks are marked, they are high security locks and extremely difficult to bump. 

Preventing lock bumping:

There is no way to predict emergency situations, however there are steps to avoid them. There are a number of ways to prevent lock bumping in order to make your home or business more secure. A simple way to secure your home would be by installing chain latches to your exterior doors. This doesn’t change your lock’s susceptibility to bumping, but it provides an additional layer of security and prevention against burglars entering your home. 

Modifying your current locks and deadbolts is a cost effective way to cause your locks to be more secure. Licensed locksmiths are able to induce modifications by adding security pins to the existing cylinder locks in order to increase the resistance to bump keys. This is a ulterior method that’s costs effective, as opposed to changing your locks. 

Another option is installing new high security locks, such as the Abloy deadbolt, which is placed on the exterior doors coupled with a common-sense frame and door reinforcements. These are high security deadbolt locks that are difficult, but not impossible to manipulate. With these high security locks, lock bumping becomes more time consuming, instead of instantaneous. The company BiLock offers a lock with programmable side bars and has no top pins, which makes the locks inaccessible to bumping and nearly impossible to pick at or bump. Your local locksmith can advise you on the best high security lock for your situation.

Another alternative is installing non-tumbler locks such as rotating disk locks, or magnetic/electronic locks. An electronic lock is not vulnerable to lock bumping because it uses electric currents to drive its locking mechanism. Electric locks employ magnets, solenoids, or motors to activate the lock by supplying or removing power. Electronic locks can also be connected to an access control system, therefore further strengthening security. 

Conclusion:

Lock bumping poses a serious threat – even though unlocked doors and windows statistically pose a much larger security risk. Call a local licensed locksmith to receive an estimate on high security locks or other alternatives to safer locks that are less vulnerable to lock bumping. Not all security systems are expensive, which is why it’s advisable to search our website to find a neighborhood locksmith that can give you a solid estimation, as well as guide you through different solutions towards a safer home. 

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  1. Global Lock Manufacturer Brands

Find a local locksmith near you through our website to receive the best advice on lock brands for your distinguished needs. 

*ABUS

Abus stands for August Bremicker Sohne KG. This is a German company that has been in existence since 1924 when it first started producing different kinds of padlocks. The company is family owned and managed according to moral principles. ABUS is popular for its different types of padlocks and the quality of their products, which continuously improve with time. The products they sell include video surveillance systems, smoke alarms, locking systems, alarm systems, as well as bike and boat security products. 

ABUS has three subsidiary companies which are Security Center, SchilieBanlagen GmbH Pfaffenhain, and SECCOR. Security Center was founded in 1999 and is known for its alarm and video surveillance systems. SchilieBanlagen GmbH Pfaffenhain is the security hardware division which was developed in the year 2003. SECCOR focuses on electronic switching devices and locking systems. ABUS has the highest production facility in Germany and has spread its products to many more countries across the globe. Some countries include the USA, France, Sweden, Austria, as well as China and several other European countries. ABUS is also considered the largest manufacturer of bike locks and padlocks. The company has earned an award as the Brand of the Century in security technology.

For more information visit www.abus.com

*ASSA Abloy

This is a lock manufacturer which was developed when ASSA AB was disassociated from Securitas AB in 1994. Securitas is a Swedish security company. After the separation, ASSA AB acquired ABLOY OY, which was a subsidiary of a company known as Wartsila. That same year the company was listed in the Stockholm exchange market.

This company known as ABLOY has become one of the fastest growing lock companies in the world, and is best known for its high quality, high security entry door locks. The popular acquisitions made by the company include Fichet-Bauche, which is based in France; Medeco company, based in America; as well as Mul-T-Lock, an Israeli company. The largest shareholders include the Melter and Laour. ASSA Abloy has five divisions which includes EMEA; this division has branches in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The other divisions are in South and North America. Since its inception, the company has undergone several technological transformations. Assa Abloy has become famous for its “unpickable and bump proof” disc tumbler lock. Abloy is considered to be one of the most qualified high quality locks on the market in the modern era.

For more information visit www.assaabloy.com

*Chubb Locks

Chubb Locks is known for their high quality security systems offered. They specialize in manufacturing first class locking systems for commercial properties, residential houses, as well as secure confinements. Chubb Locks was established in England by Charles Chubb. Before transforming into a locksmith company in the year 1818 it was a ship ironmonger business.

During the 1800s it became the leading manufacturer of security locks in England and was publicly announced as so by the king of England, George IV. The company then went through several mergers. It ended up merging with Mul-T-Lock. Chubb Locks is known for various products like mortise locks, cylinder locks, fire alarms, smoke detectors, glass break detector, as well as burglar alarms. Chubb Locks is another leading company that manufacturers high security locks and other products that can be used for a home, business, or industrial purpose.

For more information visit www.chubblocks.co.uk

*Kaba Group

Kaba Group is a global security company located in Switzerland. They are notorious for their KABA X-07 and KABA X-09 electronic locks and their multi bitted dimple lock designs. Kaba Group is categorized as a security technology company. The company gradually became a security locksmith company, but before that it was a cash register factory and locksmith shop. Once the company entered a partnership with Fritz Schori, who invented the first reversible key. After this partnership the company went worldwide and was renamed Kaba Holding AG. The company produces all sorts of products such as safe locks, cylinders, safe deposit installation, physical access systems, lodging products, and so on.

For more information visit www.kaba.com

*Kwikset

Kwikset is a lock manufacturing company owned by Spectrum Brands. Their name derived from their first product, the tubular lock design. The lock was phenomenal considering that it was so easy for locksmiths to install, so therefore, many locksmith companies desired the tubular lock design. This led the company to expand and branch out into other territories all over the world. Kwikset has a higher quality Titan line of production, and later it was changed to the signature series. This company has also undergone several acquisitions, similar to the other brands mentioned on this page.

This brand has remained extremely popular because of their unique awareness on the latest technological reproductions. They try to remain up to date with the latest technological happenings, which is what makes this company so innovative. The various mergers associated with this company have raised their range of products and has allowed the company to expand into different types of locks.

For more information visit www.kwikset.com

*Master Lock

Master Lock is an American based company. They specialize in different lines of products such as combination locks, padlocks, and other security products. Master Locks has spread throughout the world and has also gone through several mergers. Master Locks was purchased by American Brands in 1970. Master locks started as a mobile locksmith company, and eventually branched to producing military equipment locks. Master Locks is notorious for the development of the skeleton key (also known as master key system). In 2002 the company was obtained by the American Brands Corporation and produced it’s Titanium series. Master Lock has become one of the most popular brands in the United States, as well as other parts of the world. Besides it’s excellence in production, Master Locks is also known for its aestheticism.

For more information visit www.masterlock.com

*Medeco

This company is known for being one of the highest quality manufacturer of locks and security keys in the locksmith production industry. Medeco is an American company and has associations with the Assa Abloy Group. The company was developed in the 1950s. Originally the company started as a mechanical development company located in Salem. This brand is preferred by many locksmith professionals because of it’s unique locking principles that is resistant to some forms of burglary attacks. Medeco has expanded its horizons, and developed a new product named Biaxial, which uses a superior locking technology. The pin tumbler lock the company offers is equipped with a sidebar to increase protection against lock picking and lock bumping. The Keymark is another product developed by this company, which was created in order to avoid lock bumping. Medeco Is a global company that is so highly regarded in its expertise high security lock manufacturer it is used in highly sensitive locations, such as banks, airplanes, and military compounds.

For more information visit www.medeco.com

*Mul-T-Lock

Mul-T-Lock was developed in Israel, and is one of Assa Abloy’s subsidiary companies. Mul-T-Lock was purchased by Assa Abloy back in 2000 and has become one of the best known manufacturers of high quality security locks for different purposes. This company produces medium and high security lock cylinders, electronic locks, padlocks, and multi-point locking systems, as well as a range of other lock related hardware. Just like Medeco, Mul-T-Lock is one of the most recognized names in security and is used by professional locksmiths.

A popular product created by the company is the four-way door lock system, which was introduced to the locksmith market in 1973. The success of this product left the company to expand globally so that by the year 1982, the company had started creating other merchandise such as cylinders, steel doors, locks, accessories, vehicle protection locks, and several other high security products.

For more information visit www.mul-t-lock.com

*Schlage

Schlage is an American lock brand founded in 1920 with headquarters in San Francisco. Schlage is one of the most popular brands and produces low to medium security locks, for both residential and commercial properties. They primarily generate pin-tumbler locks such as the Primus, Everestm and Obverse product line.

Just like all the other companies mentioned above, Schlage has undergone acquisitions and mergers. For more than thirty years Schlage became a subsidiary of Allegion, America’s best know brand for security related products. This company also cultivates keyless entry locks, key blanks, and related hardware like door knobs, levers, and handle sets.

For more information visit www.schlage.com

*Yale

Yale is a subsidiary company of Assa Abloy. The company is based in Connecticut and is best known for its pin tumbler lock. Linus Yale was the inventor of the pin tumbler lock and created this company in 1868. The basic design of this lock is currently used by lock manufacturers around the world. In the modern era, Yale mainly produces low to medium security lever lock cylinders, warded locks, safes, padlocks, and electronic locks for residential and commercial properties.

For more information visit www.yalelock.com

*CISA (Costruzioni Italiane Serrature e Affini)

CISA is an Italian company and is a leading manufacturer brand in Europe, as well as other parts of the world. CISA is popular for their lines of merchandise which include access control and locking sectors. Their products are available in over seventy countries, which is how they are so well known. CISA became favored in the industry because they were the first company to patent electric lock (circa 1926). Aside from the patent electric lock, the company also manufactured smart card locks. In the present day, CISA is a subsidiary company of lingersoll Rand Security Technologies. CISA’S innovations are driven by technology and excellence. Their lines of products such as smart card locks and electric locks provide the highest security standard in the home, office, and industries. CISA has really transformed the residential security market.

For more information visit www.cisa.com

*Best Lock Corporation

Previously known as Door Hardware and Lock, the company was established in the year 1926 in Washington, and then relocated to Indianapolis in 1938. The company has constantly been transforming over the years, however their products are still considered as the best access brand. Best Locks Corporation manufactures a range of security products for industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities. They sell their products directly to potential customers without granting any access to wholesalers. Various productions include padlocks, cylinder locks, keypads, and speciality locks with accessories. They are most well known for their small format interchangeable core cylinders, which they started generating in the 1960s. This was considered a replacement for its original removal-keying configuration and caused their rapid growth within the larger and moderate sized master keying market.

For more information visit www.bestaccess.com

*Deitz Lock Company

This brand is not particularly popular, but is famous and respected universally for their innovative locks. This is an American company that was formed in the year 1861 by a gentleman named Alonzo Edward Deitz. The company was founded in Brooklyn, New York and produced locks for local vendors. Deitz is notable for their upscale locks that were introduced into the market. Their locks have a distinctive pin which is what makes it a unique brand. Deitz released various lock models which can be seen in their catalog. Some of the more popular locks are for drawers, doors, as well as padlocks. Their products have been available globally in the last two centuries. Deitz Lock Company is associated with excellence and high performance locks.

View their lock improvement patent: Google Patent 

*Sergeant and Greenleaf

This is a U.S. lock manufacturing company that has been in the lock making business since 1865. Sergeant and Greenleaf has been involved various lines of locks production such as safe deposit locks, key operated safes, combination locks, high security military keys, and so on. The company had their original outfit in New York and remained in Rochester until it was moved to Kentucky in 1975. Their products were most notably used for the American railway sector. The company is known for their high security products for the railway sector, vaults, and safes that are widely distributed around the world. S & G have generated various innovative locks including the Sergeant’s Magnetic Bank Lock which quickly made a name for itself as the best changeable combination lock ever produced. In 1873 the first time lock was created by the company which was produced in 1880.

For more information visit www.sargentandgreenleaf.com

*Sealock Security System

Sealock is a American based lock manufacturing company. Since it’s conception the company has remained the leading manufacturer of cargo container locks in the world. Sealock Security System became a leading security company because it is the only company that has the dealing and locking device to become a member of C-TPAT (United States Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism). The company has three different product lines, which includes single-use merchandise, double use products, as well as their tamper evident product line. Sealock Security System was developed in 1996, the company aimed at becoming the leading business in the prevention of tampering and stealing sealed cargo content. They quickly led the market after the 9/11 attacks.

For more information visit www.sealock.com

*Wilson Bohannan Company

This is another American based company that has been producing security products and padlocks since its conception in 1860. The company was founded by Wilson Bohannan and received their patent for the first padlock. Subsequently the company produced far more patents to create other types of padlocks in the country. The company later opened a workshop in Brooklyn in order to attract more clientele. The company has become known for their superior quality padlocks.

For more information visit www.padlocks.com

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III. How to choose the best locks for home security –

With crime rates on the rise, it’s important to make sure that your home locks are safe and secure. The truth is that crime and burglary are not only subject to “unsafe” neighborhoods. It’s actually been statistically proven that more robberies are bound to happen in more affluent areas, rather than low income areas, for the reason that there is more at stake. It makes sense that a person would set up an alarm system in their home to avoid any criminal activity on their property that could put their and their family’s lives in danger. However, alarm systems are not enough to prevent unwanted visitors from entering your property.

Therefore, homeowners should invest in securing their home with reliable and high security lock systems, especially for the front doors and garage doors.

This “tips” page will explore the many options in securing your home. 

*Advice from a locksmith

Most locksmiths will recommend deadbolt locks. Although this idea seems indisputable in theory, most deadbolts are mass produced and so therefore are automatically prone to lock bumping. The advantage of deadbolts and/or deadlocks is that it’s more secure compared to the standard spring locking system, The issue is that there are various types of deadbolts you can avail from the market, so which one is right for you? That is dependent on the kind of doors you want secured. 

Here are some of the types of deadbolts available: 

*Single cylinder deadbolt
*Double cylinder deadbolt
*Grade 1 deadbolt
*Beveled deadbolt 

-Single Cylinder Deadbolt

This type of deadbolt may prove to be the most affordable and reliable option. However, it’s crucial to be aware of what kind of door you have considering the single cylinder deadbolt may not be right for you. Even though this is the most inexpensive choice, it’s not the safest choice out there, one should keep that in mind before making a purchase. If a lock is not suitable for the door then it will create a fairly simple scenario for a burglar to enter the home. 

When should a single cylinder deadbolt be used?

This locking system works best with solid doors made of metal or wood, with no windows or openings on the door. 

-Double Cylinder Deadbolt

If there are any openings on your exterior door, this lock is an ideal solution for any type of door containing an enclosed glass or window. This particular type of lock is also known as captured key deadbolt. It contains a double locking mechanism which creates an extremely difficult circumstance for a burglar to break into your home. The reason being is that a key must be used from both the interior and exterior of the lock to disarm or unlock the door. 

-Grade 1 Deadbolt

Some deadlocks are graded according to quality value. The grading values are determined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The grades are also determined on how secure and durable the lock is. If you want a deadlock for a reasonable price, choosing a deadlock with the “Grade 1” emblem is the right decision. 

-Beveled Deadbolt

The Beveled Deadbolt comes with a hardened steel case that makes it difficult for burglars to cut or saw your lock. For added security, one can equip their deadlock with security plates. These security plates are usually attached to your door jamb and your house walls. Considering all of this, there is no possible way that a criminal will be able to break into your home.

If you are looking to secure your home, please find a local locksmith on our website. These licensed professionals will be able to advise you on home security solutions.

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  1. Purchasing a Safe

Here are some tips on buying a safe.

*Home Offices

If you have a home office, safes usually become an important factor in order to store crucial documentation and other miscellaneous items. 

*Fire Resistant Safes

Just in case a home fire caused by an electrical hazard or a fire caused by another event – fire resistant locks create a safe environment in which important records, and sensitive materials will not be destroyed in the fire. Items that would melt in high temperature such as plastic film or computer disks will actually stay protected inside a fire-resistant safe even with temperatures rising. The materials used for a fire-resistant safe is a insulator and the inflammable element. The components used to build a fire resistant safe are gypsum, mica, and wood chips.

There are a selection of safes with various ratings to choose from. The ratings provided on our website come from UL (Underwriters Laboratory). These ratings represent their level of protection to fire. In descending order: 

UL Class 350 stands up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and 85% humidity.
UL Class 150 stands up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 85% humidity.
UL Class 125, stands up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and 80% humidity. 

*Burglar Resistance

A safe’s purpose is to secure valuables such as gold, cash, sensitive documents, jewelry, and so on. It’s safe to assume that these safes also play a role in protecting your most delicate items from thieves.

The overall attributes of a safe should be:

Made of steel: A safe with a hard surface would make it difficult to crack or break under pressure.

Attached to the floor or the wall of your home: The safe should be attached to the wall or the floor in order to avoid someone moving the safe out of the home and then trying to break it open at a different location.

Resistant to tool attacks: Set by the Underwriters Labratory, here are several codes that signify the rating of a safe according to its resistance to tools, in descending order:

TX – this means it can resist attacks from cutting torches and explosives.

TR – Resistant to cutting torches.

TL – Resistant to common hand-held tools. 

Durability against tools:

Here are other several codes by the UL that signify the duration of a safe’s resistance against tools:

-60, lasts 60 minutes.
-30, lasts 30 minutes.
-15, lasts 15 minutes.

*Other valuable tips

There are several factors one needs to take into account when purchasing a safe.

-Choose the type of safe you desire in accordance with what you want to store inside. A UL Class 350 is suitable to store flammable items like paper documents or finance records. A TX-60 is suitable for high value products, like jewelry.

-Considering a fire/burglar resistant safe requires different materials to create – for example – a fire resistant lock will use the less durable, but insulating wood chips; whereas safes to prevent burglary require hard but heat conductive steel.

-Depending on the purpose of the safe it’s recommended that the safe be attached to the wall or the floor. This is a crucial tip that most safe buyers overlook.

-It’s recommended to stick with a smaller safe rather than a larger one, so that it can be removed easily in case of a fire or flood in the household.

-Keys to the safe should only be accessed by the sole owner/s of the safe. Don’t leave extra safe keys lying around. If the safe you own doesn’t have keys but requires a passcode, don’t leave the password laying around. Either keep the password stored in your phone or memorize it. 

If you’re looking to install a safe, please call (844) 808-2707 and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you. 

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  1. Office Security Tips

Office security threats can be both physical and electronic. This tips page contains advice that are helpful to increase security in your work environment. 

Need help or advice? Call (844) 808-2707 and one of our representatives will gladly assist you. 

Office security should be a matter of great concern in a business. It’s always advisable to hire a professional security consultant or a local locksmith who will complete a thorough inspection of the office in order to make sure that there are no weak spots in your company’s security. The locksmith or consultant will also offer a clear plan on how to upgrade your security system. 

*Surveillance Systems

There is a wide range of advanced electronic devices to ensure the highest quality in office security. The most common electronic tools are closed-circuit surveillance systems and access-control systems. CCTV cameras are available in black and white, but the modern CCTV cameras and displays contain high resolution color, often complemented with sound options. The more advanced systems provide the CCTV administrator the ability to zoom in on a specific area or track an object or person.  

The use of CCTV cameras in public spaces, stores, and office buildings has become widely used and accepted as a means of security. The CCTV camera system is an inexpensive option to monitor your business or home if you are not on the premises. CCTV cameras are also important in case of a theft, the camera gives you the ability to have recorded evidence, which is also helpful for insurance companies and so forth.

*Security Guards

Besides cameras, another option would be to hire a security guard. Most security guards acquire excellent communication skills and are well equipped in case of strenuous circumstances. The security guards usually sit either in the front desk of a company or if it’s a larger building they patrol the grounds. There are various types of security guards, with different qualifications.

The presence of a security guard creates a safer environment for the employees and the customers. They keep their eyes open in case of any suspicious activity.

Safety training for security guards is a mandatory part of their position. In case of an emergency, the security guard knows what measures to take to ensure the safety of the employees and customers in the premises.

It’s important to note that most people should be trained on how to behave during a dangerous situation. If a company installs a new security system, they should bring in a security consultant to instruct the employees about how and what they can do to improve their and everyone else’s safety.

*Data Protection

Apart from a physical breach, unique measures should be taken to protect your office electronically. The data stored in your computer may be extremely sensitive, and anyone tampering with that sensitivity could be detrimental to one’s business.

To ensure data security and electronic safety, the following rules should apply:

-All office work stations should be properly guarded against unauthorized access which means that every computer should have a complex password with combinations of the alphabet and numbers. (No birthdays or personal numbers or letters).

-Office computers must be protected with an updated version of a anti-virus software that is suitable for corporate level security provision.

-Specific caution must be taken while using removable media in office computers. According to a recent study, removable media such as USB memory sticks are one of the prime sources for malware and viruses.

-Internet or WIFI must be protected with a firewall mechanism.

When you connect to the internet, your information becomes vulnerable within the circuit. One needs to make sure that they have a firewall to act as a gatekeeper to ensure security and prevent access to the data in your computer or laptop.

Firewalls come in two varieties: software and hardware. Software firewalls are easier to install, but can secure only a singular computer. Hardware firewalls are used to protect an entire network of computers. Linksys and DLink make inexpensive hardware for small offices while CISCO and HP make firewalls for larger spaces.

-All data should always be backed up to a remote and secure location.

-Be certain that your antivirus software, firewalls, and other software programs are routinely updated. In order to increase security you can disable the ability to boot from a CD or USB.

-Apart from laptop and computer securities – key security is also crucial. Avoid leaving keys on doors. Don’t duplicate keys –  if one loses their office keys, let management know. Use a locked cash drawer or box. Lock cash drawers or safes before leaving the office. 

When it comes to security, no corner or angle of your business location should be left unsupervised. Always make sure that your office and sensitive items in your business are kept safe.
 

  1. Modern Lock Options

There is a famous saying that there are no safes that cannot be opened. Unfortunately, the same quote can be said for entry locks. Burglars will most likely be able to pick at your locks and enter at their own will, with very little struggle. There are even tutorials on the internet that show how to bump locks, which takes a few seconds (see lock bumping for more information).

A simple way to avoid break ins is to invest in high quality locks.

This tips page will discuss non traditional electronic entry locks: digital locks that offer advanced protection for your home and office. These smart locks come in many different forms and shapes – each with it’s own technological benefits. Digital locks are now used in offices, government buildings, hospitals, and so on. Progress with advanced technology and the decreased prices for digital quality locks are now a valid options for residential properties as well. Statistics has proven that thieves avoid property containing electronic lock systems. 

Below is a list of modern upgrades that can help keep your home safe: 

*Fingerprint Lock

The fingerprint lock is one of the most secure and widely available high tech locks in the market. Fingerprints are unique so you can be certain that no one will be able to enter the property unless their fingerprint is registered into the system. Fingerprint locks, also known as biometric locks, consists of a scanner that captures a person’s fingerprint and allows access through a database that contains print matches. Another benefit of the fingerprint lock is they it is keyless, therefore, one doesn’t need to be concerned about losing keys. All you need is your fingerprint to gain entry. 

*Remote Control Lock

Remote control locks work in the same exact way as any other remote control for your electronic device. This clicker device is an extremely simple device that unlocks your door. This method is convenient and doesn’t require remembering codes or performing complicated programming considering some of us are not so tech savvy. Your local locksmith will implement the initial installation for you, and you’re pretty much good to go following the installation. The way to use the remote control lock is self explanatory. 

*Push-button lock

This type of lock is the most traditional electronic lock used. It’s probably just as secure as the automated teller machine. In order to unlock the door and enter the room, you will need to enter a code (one that you have chosen) which would be set when you or a locksmith installs the lock. Depending on the brand or type of lock, usually one will be required to enter a 4 to 8 digit code in order to use the push button lock. For safety reasons it is recommended that this code be modified every once in awhile, especially if it is a code that is shared with others. 

*Other methods:

Methods to help improve security:  

-Install security cameras. This may hinder potential thieves because the homeowner will be aware of what’s going on in and around the premises . It’s advised to avoid using faux cameras that beam red lights when turned off. If you wish to save money, the camera doesn’t need to be plugged on, it can just serve as a warning.

-Install a deadbolt. An ideal deadbolt should have a throw of at least 1 inch in length and should be supported by a hardened steel plate on each side.

-Leave tell-tale signs that the house is occupied, especially when the home owner has to leave the premises empty. It’s wise to leave lights on or have the television on.

-Install signs to deter burglars. Most burglars seek a house that contains the lowest risk in relations to being caught. Inserting a “beware of dog” sign on your front lawn or gates will lead the burglar to believe that you have canine guards. 

Need more information on electronic entry locks? Call (844) 808-2707 for advice! 

VII. DIY (Do it Yourself) Home Security Tips

10 steps that can help improve home security 

*One of the most important aspects of owning a home is safety. Many of us avoid the thought of an unwanted guest entering our home and gaining access to our personal belongings, but this should not be ignored. Every home is considered a potential risk, which is why it’s crucial to take the correct steps in securing your home. Here are a few DIY home security tips:

IF installing a high quality home security system is out of your budget, there are inexpensive ways to create a safer home that you can do yourself. 

*Landscape

Although this seems miniscule, it’s important to maintain a trimmed landscape. Burglars use untrimmed landscape to create hiding spots. Tall trees can provide perfect hideout spots, which is why they should be clipped. Try to avoid dense shrubs, plants near windows, and low hedges. 

*Door Stops

If your door only has a handle lock it will make things easy for someone who wants to break into your home. Install an additional layer in order to add more security. Find a local locksmith in your area and have them install additional deadbolts and strengthen every installation by using long, heavy duty screws. Another option is adding a reinforcement plate to your door to make the area around the lock more secure. A wide angle peephole on your front door can also come in handy so you can see who is at the door. If you choose to install the lock yourself we recommend you order your hardware from a locksmith or specialized hardware store. In order to prevent lock bumping, it is recommended to avoid buying from chain stores like the Home Depot. 

*Social Media

Social media is extremely prevalent in our society, and so it is important to try and keep personal information off the internet. Some people may use your personal information, such as your home address to target your home. It’s crucial that you and your loved ones monitor the information given out through social media. 

*Fragile Windows

Windows are often the most vulnerable, especially when left open and unattended. Make sure your windows are locked shut before leaving your home. Adding blinds or shades will discourage prying eyes. Another option is to have security bars installed on the ground level, be sure that they are fitted with quick release mechanisms for easy openings from the interior of the house in case of an emergency. 

*Self-Service Security Systems

Affordable, high-technology home security systems incorporating remote controls, infrared motion detection, and easy to install window and door break-in sensors are promptly available in the market. Some systems even incorporate pet settings that prevent deceitful alarms for people with pets. They work by thresholding the body weight of the animal or by keeping detection just above the pet’s visual path. 

*Statistics

Keep up with the statistics of types and numbers of crimes committed in your neighborhood. Acquire information on the kinds of crimes. This kind of information can be useful when altering your home security. This research can give you an idea of the level of security needed in your home. 

*Clean Up

Clear the area outside your property. Make sure there are no tools or resources that could be used to break a window or open a door. Access to hammers or screwdrivers can grant access into your home, so make sure the area is cleaned and organized. 

*Keys

Never hide your spare keys in the exterior of your home. Someone who is attempting to break into your home will probably have already thought about the many different hiding places around the premises. One should also be cautious about issuing a spare key. Although one may be careful in handing out a spare key, you cannot control whether or not someone decides to make a duplicate. 

Resources:

Burglary of Single Family Houses by DL Weisel.

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting

How Burglars use Social Media 

Call (844) 808-2707 to receive professional advice on how to improve the security of your home. 

VIII. Locked out of your home? What do you do?

Locked out of your home or office?

*Stay calm

*Call someone who might have a spare key, whether it be a family member, a neighbor, or the landlord.

*No spare key? Dial (844) 808-2707 for any questions, and one of our representatives can set you up with a certified local locksmith. 

Are you locked out of your house? Call (844) 808-2707 for a free consultation. 

When I was 10 months old, my mother locked herself out of our home, leaving me inside the house. This story has been repeated to me many times. It’s one of those traumatic memories that will always be present in my mother’s mind. We were living in a tenement apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts, which happens to be a very busy City. The apartment had two separate entrances, a front door and a side door. The side door let into a small backyard that was used to hang laundry and garden. Every few days my mother would use the side door to make her way into the backyard in order to hang the wet clothes on the clothing line. She always tried to keep the door unlocked, but one day she heard that dreadful clicking sound of the door locking. Her heart fell into her stomach, and on this day she realized she left the keys inside the house.  

She felt completely helpless. The clicking sound of the lock continued repeating in her mind as she watched me from the window, unable to get back inside. At the time, I had just started learning how to walk, so I perched onto my toy chair and cried for her with my nose pressed against the window. Luckily I was such a concerned baby that I didn’t walk away from the window, therefore, she knew that I was safe as opposed to walking around the apartment, even though I was scared.

Luckily our neighborhood was very friendly, so my mother was able to use the telephone to call my father for help. He worked pretty close to where we lived and was able to drive over right away. We got lucky because of our extraordinary neighbors and my father working nearby, but what happens when there is an emergency and you don’t have neighbors or friends nearby? Or what if you live alone? Being locked out of the house is something so mundane, because it can happen to just about anyone. It can happen at just about anytime, which is why it’s important to be prepared in case of a lockout situation.

Here are some tips to help take some precautions against lockouts.  

*Hide a spare key

The most simple solution to avoid a lockout is to hide a spare key somewhere outside, although it is risky. Find an obscure location around your premises and hide your keys. It’s recommended that you avoid areas such as under your mat or in your mailbox, when hiding a key one must use their imagination. 

*Give a spare key to someone you trust

It’s important to give your key to someone who lives close by. A friendly neighbor, a good friend, or a sibling are all good options in case of an emergency,

*Find a Locksmith

Find a reliable locksmith in your neighborhood. Make sure that you are aware of their hours of operation, in case the locksmith is not 24 hours. At one point in everyone’s life, we experience a lockout situation, so it’s important that a locksmith’s number is stored in your phone. 

*Call your landlord

The greatest aspect of renting is that there is always someone to call in case of a lockout situation. Be sure to check with your management company or landlord about their calling policy – for example, do they have office hours or are you  able to reach them through their cell phone? These are some important questions you should know about your property. 

*Check your renter’s insurance policy

Renters insurance keeps your assets safe by ensuring coverage in case of any damage caused by break ins or wear and tears. Review you renters insurance policy to check if it covers locksmith costs. If you are locked out of your home due to a break in or attempted theft, renters insurance may provide contact information for emergency locksmith services, as well as cover partial or total costs. 

*Breaking into your house

Considering all of the options, this should be considered a last resort. Homeowners and renters usually know the accessible entrances in and around their homes. Whether this be a window or side door that is easily infiltrated with little damage. It is obviously not recommended to leave a window or door open.
 

  1. Car Lockout

Are you locked out of your vehicle? It happens a lot more than you think. Here is a few things you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

*Stay calm

*Call a family member who may have a spare key

*No spare key? Call (844) 808-2707

*Keys locked in the car

If anyone has left their keys in their vehicle, they are aware of how highly frustrating it feels. It’s an overwhelming feeling of helplessness when you’re locked out of your car, especially if you’re in a desolate area far from an urban setting. This can be extremely inconvenient and maddening, especially if you find yourself locked out of your vehicle on a rainy day. Some cars can automatically lock you out because of their locking mechanism which is triggered when a car is turned on. We currently live in a world of keyless entries, locking your keys in the car may have been a problem of the past. However, there are still certain precautions one must take in order to avoid car lockout inconveniences. 

*Magnetic key case

A popular trend in order to keep an additional car key handy is to buy a magnetic key case. The name is already suggestive that the case is made of magnets and connects to the steel or metal car frame. Some places to hide the key cases are in hard to reach areas (such as under the fender). These cases are rust free and heavy duty that can withstand hard weather, wear, and pressure. A magnetic key case is an inexpensive option, it’s price ranges between $4.00-$8.00. 

*Duplicate Key

Duplicating a key is always a favorable option. You can store your duplicate key in the magnetic key case, or keep the spare key with someone you trust. Another option is to keep a key set hidden around your home in case of an emergency. 

*Roadside Assistance

Having an account with roadside assistance can be crucial when owning a vehicle. There are several companies that offer roadside assistance options, which include: AAA, All-State Motor Club, BP Motor Club, and Good Sam Roadside Assistance. These are only a few out of the many choices. When signing up for roadside assistance, be sure to check into their lockout deals. Some may be free of cost with the basic membership fee, while other companies may require additional payments for these services. 

*Locksmith

This is probably the most useful tip: always having a locksmith that you trust available in your phonebook just in case an emergency occurs. Some locksmith companies have 24/7 assistance, while others have strict office hours. Local locksmiths are always a inexpensive option for lockouts.

*Electric door opener

Most modern cars come with keyless remotes that lock & unlock, as well as start your car all from the comfort of your location. Keep an additional remote hidden inside your house or your purse/wallet. Some cars also contain door keypads which are located underneath the handle. These codes can be personalized which is a great option available for most vehicle brands. This guarantees the driver won’t ever be locked out of their car again, just be sure to memorize your passcode! 

*Car dealership

If you find yourself locked out of your car, perhaps call a friend to drive you to your call dealership. At the dealership they may offer locksmith services. If you lose your keyless remote, the dealership may be able to replace the lost key. It’s advisable to check with your dealership before hand, to see if this is free of charge or if it requires payment. 

*Breaking into your car

Desperate situations call for desperate measures at times, which means that in some cases people have had to break into their car through the window or door. There is a chance that one can damage their vehicle, but there are a few methods to try and avoid damage altogether. These methods may not work with newer car models, but should work with older ones, especially those that contain an interior locking mechanism.

The coat hanger method – if you are in possession of a coat hanger, you stretch the hanger so you have a straight wire containing a hook at the tip. Insert the hook into the car by fitting it between the window and the car frame. Then, ease the hook down along the window until you reach the lock, fit the hook around the lock, and lift.

Another method is by using a Slim Jim. A Slim Jim is a thin metal lock pick that works by manipulating the levers and rods that operate the door. One end of the tool is hooked – the hooked end is slipped into the car between the window and surrounding rubber seal, connecting to the rods and inadvertently manipulating the locking mechanism. The Slim Jim is a highly valued and inexpensive tool that can be purchased for $10.00-$20.00. Before purchasing, make sure that this tool will work on your vehicle. 

*Emergency roadside assistance

If you’re experiencing an emergency with your vehicle it’s best to dial 911. Emergency roadside assistance can also connect you with the local authorities. This is extremely crucial, especially if you’ve locked yourself out of the car with your children still in the vehicle. Or if the weather conditions are harsh, whatever the emergency may be, roadside assistance is important.