As secure as locks are, some are vulnerable to tampering, or in the case of digital locks, hacking. The Family Handyman offers some suggestions of preventing lock tampering and keeping your property safe.
1. Upgrade Locks – Many of today’s locks do not solely dependent on the tumbler and pin makeup. Hybrid digital/mechanical locks are a perfect example. These employ mechanical workings but are not opened by a key. To unlock these devices, an access card, a PIN typed on a keypad or biometrics (using one’s fingerprint) is required.
A sliding bolt can be added to prevent a deadbolt knob from being turned even after it has been unlocked. Some deadbolts have a switch on them that when flipped, will lock the deadbolt in place.
Use mortise locks that are difficult to pick and are more robust than other locks.
If you’re considering a padlock, use one with ball bearing mechanisms that are harder to pry open. Look for padlocks made from boron that are 50 stronger than hardened steel.
2. Lock Bumping – This involves using a specially cut key to open a tumbler and pin lock. After the key is inserted, it is struck or “bumped” and the impact forces the pins, allowing the lock to be opened. Lock manufacturers are designing their locks to be more resistant to this method. Only locksmiths are allowed to have devices that can produce a “bump” key.
3. Storage Hook – Secure a lockable storage hook to your garage or shed to store an extension ladder. An unsecured ladder in the yard is an invitation to a thief to use to break into your home.
4.Thwart Bolt Cutters – Use a thick shackled lock and try to minimize its exposure to help prevent a bolt cutter or angle grinder from being used. If you’re chaining a ladder of boat, use a heavy-duty chain with hexagonal links – not round ones – that make it nearly impossible for a bolt cutter to grab.
5. Security Screws – Use these to secure hinges or padlock hasp staples. These are special screws that have an Allen, hexagonal or Torx head that require a special tool. Also, make sure hinge or hasp staple screws cannot be easily accessed when a door is closed and locked.
6.Smart Locks – Anything, including locks, connected to the internet can be an open target for hackers. However, manufacturers have taken steps to making hacking of these locks, particularly those with deadbolts, very difficult.