Is Keyless Entry Really More Secure?

Many people are making the switch to keyless entry, especially when it comes to their cars. It’s a handy way to get into the car without requiring you to be at the car opening the lock with a key. When you don’t feel like digging for the keys, you can simply use a wireless fob system, or if you want to unlock it before you even get to the car, you can hit the unlock button.

If you leave the key in the car, you can open the door by using the code on the outside of the car. All of these are different forms of keyless entry and it makes people feel more secure when away from the vehicle. Is it really more secure? Take a look at the vulnerabilities that you could deal with when it comes to keyless entry.

How keyless entry works

Adding a keyless entry to your car or purchasing a car with keyless entry means that you can get into your car in a hands-free capacity. There are cars that allow you to unlock the car doors without pushing any buttons and just by being close to the vehicle with your wireless fob, while others allow you to get in with the push of an unlock bottom or by punching in a code next to the door handle.

You may still use your key to start the car, but getting inside becomes a breeze with keyless entry systems. This is also amazing for those that locked the keys inside or lost their keys while they are out because they can still get into the car and they can have someone bring them a spare key while waiting inside the car. If your keys are buried at the bottom of your purse, simply let yourself in the vehicle and look for ignition key while you are inside the car.

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The vulnerabilities of having one

Now keyless entry has become so common and at the same time, criminals are getting smarter about breaking into these systems. While most people feel more secure with their keyless entry, criminals are starting to hack into these systems, stealing items from within the car without any trace of their presence. There are no longer broken windows or signs of forced entry; criminals can now purchase devices that allow them access to your vehicle and anything inside without a trace.

How to protect your car from hacking

How can you protect yourself from these hackers? First is to understand that criminals can now get secret devices to unlock cars and sometimes drive off with them. Do not keep valuables in the car because you are leaving your belongings vulnerable. In some cases, criminals are using laptops with a radio transmitter to figure out the car’s unique code by cycling through millions until they find the right one.

It’s suspected that criminals are using “power amplifiers” to get into keyless entry cars. When you try to unlock the car, your car will wirelessly call out for your key so that you can get inside, and when the key calls back the door will unlock. Since it only searches within a couple of feet of the car, the power amplifier is stretching the distance it can call and allowing the car to unlock if your keys are in a building nearby. One way to avoid this hack is to keep your keys in a freezer to avoid letting the signal get in or out.

In conclusion, it may actually be more secure to not have keyless entry. While the hacking is relatively new, there isn’t much data to determine the source of the hacking and all of the techniques being used to hack these systems. Until more research has been done to stop these criminals from entering keyless cars, you may be safer with your traditional keys. If you do happen to lose your keys or lock them in the car, you can always call a professional locksmith to help you in these situations.

Safes for You to Securely Store Valuables at Home

When it comes to storing your valuables, this is one area that you don’t want to take a shortcut. If a home burglary is going to happen, it’s crucial that you have a secure safe to store your valuables to avoid theft. Some of the most common items taken from homes are jewelry, money, firearms, baseball cards, and family heirlooms.

Not only is it important to protect these things that are worth good money or sentimental to you, but you should have a way to protect important personal documents like birth certificates and passports in the event of a fire or other disaster. Take a look at the best way to securely store your valuables at home from theft or a disaster.

Small safes for your home or office

To get started, you may simply want a small safe to use in your home or office.

You can get a lightweight and inexpensive safes like Amazon Basics Security Safe which features 0.5 cubic feet of steel-enclosed space and a carpeted floor only accessible digitally.

A Combination Fire Safe is great if you need fire and water protection for things like photos and USB drives, such as the SWF123DSB for something heavy duty in the home.

One of the best in fireproof safes for those wanting a small safe is the First Alert 2092DF that can float and handle fires. It has a programmable lock and steel locking bolts and weighs a hefty 100lbs.

For a Biometric safe to hold your valuables or firearms, get the BARSKA biometric safe for an inexpensive, small, and ideal storage solution.

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The Varieties in size and features

When you aren’t concerned about size or price and simply want the best for your valuables, your home could use one of the safes mentioned below.

The Safstar Digital Electronic Security Safe Box is a great choice for something compact, affordable, and for the smart accessibility, it allows between the digital PIN and the backup key option. It won’t hold as much as the large SentrySafe SFW205CWB water-resistant combination safe which gives you 60% more storage than a traditional safe, so it’s important to determine what size you need from the start.

If you are concerned about a fireproof option, the SentrySafe can’t offer that, but you can get that feature with the First Alert 2092DF. If you like something compact, the Safstar is one of the best, but the Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe is another option which allows access electronically and with backup keys. On the larger end of things, the SentrySafe is a top choice, as well as the BARSK Large Biometric Safe that features a huge memory storage for fingerprints and a silent access mode.

Options for the ultimate hiding places

If your goal is to be as discrete a possible, you may like one of these types of safes in your home. Store your valuables in a hollowed-out book, wrapped up in your freezer, or in a VHS tape. There are places in your home that a thief is less likely to look, giving you protection through discretion, but it won’t save you from a fire or flood. For discrete hiding options, hide your valuables in a houseplant or under the plastic liner of your trash can. Try a hollowed-out book or false VHS tape in your living room where a criminal is not likely to spend the time digging.

A false container in your kitchen could be under the sink or disguised as a food box, while an item that isn’t temperature sensitive could be hidden in aluminum foil in the back of your freezer. Try a floor safe in your bedroom or inside a container marked as “Christmas ornaments” in your attic. Just avoid hiding things in your desk drawers, your jewelry box, a DVD case that is worth more than your VHS tapes, or in an area that could get damaged like your jars of food or your toilet’s water tank.

When it comes to protecting your valuables or those hard to replace items, these are some of the most efficient ways to protect them. Be sure to get your home and office equipped with what you need today. Call The Professional Locksmith for more information!

When to Call a Professional Locksmith

If you’ve ever been locked out of the house or left your keys in the car, you’ve probably scrambled to call a friend or loved one that you’ve left a spare key with. Did you know that in those situations, you can easily call for help?

There are times when you really should call a professional, especially when you find yourself in an emergency. Sometimes keys break, locks break, or keys get lost. It’s times like these when a professional locksmith can be there to help you out of a stressful situation. 

Call when you’re in an emergency

The most important time to call is if you have a locksmith emergency. You need to pick up the phone right away if you find yourself locked out of your home, car, or office. Other emergencies could be that your key broke in the lock, your lock isn’t working right, or there has been a break-in and you need to change the locks. In the event of an emergency, call a locksmith to help you get back to safety, whether that’s back into your home at night or back into your car on the way to work in the morning.

Call if you’ve just moved in

When you buy a new home or other property, you’re handed over the keys to the new-to-you place. After this exciting moment, it’s time to call the locksmith to get those locks updated and to get you a brand new, shiny key. That’s because the last owner could still have access to your home or vehicle, or other people who have been given a key for any reason could as well.

If you were to move out of an apartment, your landlord would have the locks changed after you, so why shouldn’t you do the same when you take ownership of something? In addition to the last owner having a copy, anyone from a friend to the person who performed an inspection of the property before selling could have been given a copy. Make sure you have new locks and keys, and that only you and anyone you choose can have a copy and access to the property.

For a change of locks, duplicate keys needed or wearing locks

The other times when you’ll definitely want to call a locksmith would be when you simply need a change of locks for any reason, you need to have duplicate keys made, or if you’ve seen signs that your lock is getting old.

For example, couples that split up in divorce or if you’ve left a key at a friend’s house are good examples of times when you may simply need to change your lock, and a professional locksmith can have it done in no time.

If you’ve added to your family and need extra keys made, your locksmith can handle this as well. And after years of wear and tear on your locks, you should update the locks when you notice signs of wear and tear. These are more examples of times to call your locksmith.

Don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith thinking that your situation isn’t severe enough to call or that you should just rely on a friend; call in situations like these or with any questions that a professional locksmith can answer for you. Your family’s safety is their top priority.

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Learn the Difference Between Automotive Key Types

Did you know that not all automotive keys are made the same? It may seem surprising since every car you’ve owned seems to have had a similar key, but there are actually different types with a variety of features and all at different price points.

Aside from your traditional key, you’ll find anything from master keys to smart keys and everything in between. Take a look at the ways cars were open years ago through a traditional key and how technology has brought about modern options like the smart key.

Basic car key

The basic car key or traditional option is what you’ll find if you have an older vehicle or one that you may remember from back in the day. These are the ones that you can easily make a copy of at the hardware store and they can hook easily on your keychain. The reason that car keys have evolved from this option are many, but one reason is that they lack really any security features.

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If you still have a car with a traditional key, you may have had a security alarm installed or purchased an electronic key fob to help prevent theft of your car. These inexpensive keys don’t provide any encoding, can be made with any machine that cuts metal, and are outdated since better options have come out.

Master keys

In addition to your traditional car key, you may have been given a master key as well. These were meant to have copies made from them and to not be used for daily use since they were much more expensive than the basic key. Not only are they expensive to replace, but some old owners had to replace their engine management system if they were to lose them. Your used car purchase may come with a master key today.

Transponder keys

A key that’s been around since the mid-90s would be the transponder key, which offers a more secure option than your traditional key. These actually have microchips in the key handle so that when you start your engine, the sensor can respond to activate the transponder.

These can be replaced by your locksmith if lost. If you have a rolling code key version of the transponder where the key has to send a new code each time your car is used, it would be more expensive to replace when lost. These keys were the answer to car theft in the 90s.

Switchblade keys

Another popular car key is the switchblade key where the base retracts from the head of the key fob. These are great for keeping your car keys smaller in your pocket since they fold back up when not in use. It folds up like a switchblade knife and can be replaced if lost.

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Remote control car key

Your favorite way to open the car, the remote control car key is the device that allows you to lock and unlock your car. Hit the button you need to lock or unlock, and many come with an alarm system too. The infrared signal or radio transmitter sends a coded message to signal to the car what to do.

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Smart keys

Today, you have the newest version of locking and unlocking your car: the smart key. These were developed by Mercedes-Benz in the late 90s to offer a new, modern version to the old car key dilemma. They wanted to bring technology into the solution and give a new sense of protection to car security. It works as an electronic access and authorization for your system, meaning that it doesn’t actually require you to have a key to use.

You’ll simply hold on to your smart key, keep it in your pocket, and the car will work when it can sense that the smart key is within the presence of the car. Just touch a button to unlock the car and your settings will be applied, like your favorite radio station and seating position. You don’t have to ignite the engine with a key but just with a push of a button as long as the key is within distance of the car. When you walk away, your car will likely lock itself. These are great for security since they use rolling security codes that randomize the immobilizer.

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If you’ve ever wondered why everyone has a different car key or what the differences are, this guide explains what the different keys do for different purposes. That’s a look at the difference between your automotive key types.

The most common lock problems and how to inspect them

Are you suspicious of a lock problem at your home, office, or car? Whether it’s just been a long time since you’ve had them inspected, you’re preparing for a trip and want to keep things secure, or your lock just seems off, it’s never a bad time to have locks inspected. Securing your home, car, or office is an absolute must and it’s not something to put off. Take a look at some of the most common lock problems that cause homeowners to call the locksmith faster than ever.

The lock is loose or faulty

If you’ve discovered your lock seems a bit loose or it seems to be faulty, call your locksmith to get it replaced or repaired. A faulty lock is one in which the internal mechanism is worn or possibly broken, while a loose lock can happen from old age.

A loose lock is easy to unlock with the right tool or sometimes even a hairpin.  Don’t let either of these situations cause you to think you can let it go on like that; call a locksmith to have it handled since you are leaving your lock at risk of being compromised.

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Your key broke or got stuck

If your key got stuck or broke in the lock, call the locksmith before you go anywhere. New keys sometimes get stuck but they can be removed by a locksmith who can also lubricate it to avoid that happening again in the future.

Don’t force anything in either scenario; you could damage your lock. When a key breaks inside of the lock, typically from too much force, a locksmith will need to bring special equipment to help you out and make you a new key. Don’t try to pull the key out if its stuck or broken and sticking out since you could damage your lock.

The lock froze

During the winter months, it’s easy to have a frozen lock, especially on your car. Watch out this winter as the temps become harsh as your doorknobs may become more difficult to turn. In an emergency, you can try applying light heat, but overdoing it can cause permanent damage. Your best bet is to call the locksmith who will know how much heat to apply to avoid damaging it.

It’s warped

Lastly, a warped lock is one of the most common problems locksmiths come across. This can happen with age and poor weather conditions. A warped lock can cause the locking points to not work, which means that you’ll be unable to lock the door. Luckily, the locksmith can easily and quickly fix this problem to get you on your way.

Along with these common lock problems, watch out for issues like a key that is hard to turn or won’t work, a dropped door for a UPVC door, a faulty cylinder, and a clogged mechanism. All of these common lock issues are just a phone call away from being corrected and getting you back to your day.