Every industry has a long list of myths commonly believed by the average layperson, and the locksmith industry is no exception. Unfortunately, belief in some myths can have a negative impact on the security in people's homes and businesses. Here are three myths you need to know the truth about to help you protect yourself, your family, and your assets.
Myth #1 – Putting Do Not Duplicate on the Key Prevents Unauthorized Copying
Possibly the most pervasive and harmful myth floating around is that stamping "Do Not Duplicate" (DND), or some variation of that phrase, on a key will prevent unauthorized people from getting copies of it. This is not true, because it's not illegal to copy DND keys.
Some locksmiths make it their business policy to decline to copy keys that are marked "Do No Duplicate", but that's most likely because they want to avoid being held liable if something happens. There is no law prohibiting locksmiths from copying DND keys, nor is there any type of formal identity verification process locksmiths must follow before duplicating them. So the odds of an unauthorized person getting a copy of a DND key are pretty high.
The only way to prevent unauthorized key copying is to use restricted keys. These keys require locksmiths to use special templates that can only be obtained from the manufacturer. Only locksmiths approved by the manufacture or the owners of the restricted keys may order these key blanks. If your home or business requires you to prevent unauthorized copying, then this is the best way to go.
Myth #2 – Thieves Can Only Make Copies If They Have the Key
This myth used to be true. In the past, you couldn't get a duplicate of a key without either the original or a really good copy of the key's pattern of ridges and valleys. However, technology has advanced to the point where you can get a key duplicated just by taking a picture of it.
This can be achieved by using one of many smartphone apps available to scan the key you want copied. The picture is then sent to an Internet company that makes the copy of the key and sends it to the purchaser's address.
Unfortunately, many of these companies often don't have any safeguards in place to prevent unauthorized people from getting copies of keys. A few companies require users to provide credit card numbers and/or driver's licenses to place orders, while others ask users to scan the keys a certain way to prove it belongs to them. However, these preventative measures can easily be defeated by a determined thief.
This type of hacking can be tough to guard against. The best thing you can do is avoid giving your keys to people you don't trust, and never upload pictures of your keys to the Internet where anyone can download them and use them for nefarious purposes. Having multiple locks that use different keys installed on your door may also provide some protection, since the thief may think to get a copy of one key but not the other.
Myth #3 – A Really Good Deadbolt Will Turn a Bedroom Into a Panic Room
Many people have a fear of being the victim of a home invasion or being inside the building when burglars decide to break into their houses. This fear is not unfounded. According to some statistics, a break in or home invasion will occur in 1 out of every 5 homes in the United States.
While having a panic room is one way to protect yourself in the event something like that happens, simply putting a deadbolt on your bedroom door is not going to help you.
Interior doors in the home are not made of the same material as exterior doors. Typically, interior doors are hollow and made from light materials such as wood board. In contrast, exterior doors are typically made from sturdier materials such as solid wood and steel. If a home invader is able to get into your home by breaking down the front door, a flimsy bedroom door isn't going to be much match for them.
If you truly want to fortify your bedroom against potential intruders, then you'll need to replace the door and frame in addition to upgrading or adding strong locks.
For more information about these myths or assistance with the securing your home or business, contact a professional locksmith in your area, or visit sites like http://www.suburbanlock.com.