How To Protect Yourself Against Lock Picking and Bump Keys?


    For most of us, the only thing standing between our loved ones and their belongings is a nice solid set of locks on our doors. Thieves use two ways to break: lock picking and key bumping.

    Let's take a look at what key bumping and lock picking are before we look at how we can prevent being a victim of it.


    What Is Lock Picking?

     Man picking lock up close

    Credit: The Manual


    Lock picking is a non-destructive method of bypassing a lock that does not need the use of a key. This can be accomplished in a variety of methods, including single pin picking and raking; nonetheless, each technique has the same purpose in mind: to duplicate the motion of the key.


    Methods of Lock Picking


    1) Single Pin Picking


    SSP (single pin picking) is the most basic method of unlocking any lock. This is the tried-and-true method for unlocking any lock. It's a method for opening any lock as if you had the key.


    2) Raking


    Raking is the process of moving multiple pins at once with a variety of shaped picks. This method emphasizes speed and is particularly useful for cracking low-security locks and locks with pins that do not vary in height. The snake, the worm, the city, and the Bogota rake are the most frequent names for this raking equipment. Each of these rakes is designed to look like key grooves, which is known as bitting. 


    What Is Key Bumping?

     Single Bronze Key

    Credit: WonderHowTo


    Most people believe that a locked door provides security, however, anyone who knows how to use a bump key considers a door lock to be a minor inconvenience.

    Bump keys are keys with a unique design that allows them to be used to pick pin tumbler locks. Pin-tumbler locks are the most used lock in the world. Bumping is the process of obtaining entry using a bump key, and it can be quite effective if the thief knows how to do it.


    How Does It Work?


    Bump keys, sometimes known as 999 keys, are unique equipment designed to aid locksmiths, but they can also be used to gain entrance to secured residences if they fall into the wrong hands. A burglar does this by inserting a bump key into a lock and 'bumping' it with a mallet or screwdriver. The pins within the lock align as the burglar taps the bump key. With a tiny twist of the key, the thief can then open the door gaining entry into your home.


    How Can I Keep Myself Safe From Lockpicking and the Lock Bumping Technique?


    Are you wondering how to protect yourself against lock picking and lock bumping? Read on to find out.


    1) Invest in a High-Security Lock

     High security lock

    Credit: Gateway Locks and Security Cameras


    Only pin tumbler locks are vulnerable to this technique of key bumping since bump keys function by aligning all the pins in a spring-loaded lock stack for the fraction of a second it takes to unlock the lock. Bump keys cannot be used to open locks that do not have pins, such as disc tumbler locks, magnetic locks, or electronic locks.

    Trap pin locks are also resistant to bump keys, as they will jam if the incorrect key is input. You might also consider acquiring a lock that is specifically built to be bump-resistant, as several leading lock makers now offer such models.


    2) Security Camera

     Outside security camera

    Credit: vivint


    Without the help of a trained forensic locksmith, it is difficult to show to insurance companies that a claim is not false because lock bumping and key picking leave no apparent signs of damage. Install security cameras at your front door as an extra security measure. If you have a video of the intruder, you can show it to your insurance company to establish that you were indeed broken into.


    3) Bump-Resistant Lock


     Person holding key in Yale lock

    Credit: United Locksmith


    As we mentioned before, the best way to protect yourself against key bumping is by having bump-resistant locks. These high-security locks don't use pin tumbler locking mechanisms and are built to be nearly impossible to pick or bump. Some models include extra safety features such as a bolt with a ball bearing extension that secures into the door frame's receiver. Request your locksmith to recommend a high-security alternative for your residence.


    4) Go for Less Popular Lock Brands


     Locks and keys hanging on wall

    Credit: Atlas Obscura


    Bump keys must be manufactured from a key blank that is the exact size and shape of the lock. Because there are so many various brands and kinds of locks, a burglar would theoretically need to make a large number of distinct bump keys in order to open a lock picked at random. A burglar is less likely to have a ready-made bump key for a lock that is of a less popular brand.

    You should not use the same lock as your neighbors if you reside in an apartment complex. If you do, it makes life very easy for thieves to break into. Apartment buildings are a popular target for bump key thieves for this reason.


    5) Consider Using Security Pins

     Single security Pin

    Credit: Safewell


    You can take your locks to a locksmith or have them come to you to add special pins that make the lock more difficult to bump. Security pins make it tougher for a thief to break into your home. It won't make your lock fully bump proof, but a thief wants to get in and out of a house quickly, so if your lock takes longer to bump, it may deter them.


    6) Keyless Locks


     Man with finger on keyless lock

    Credit: Hikkon


    A few years before the mainstream media began reporting on lock bumping crimes, keyless locks were increasingly common. If you choose to use a keyless lock, be sure it is bump resistant. Many of the older ones still have lock bumpable key cylinders. When these cylinder locks are combined with biometric technology, their security is increased. This can be costly, but it is far safer.

     Protect Yourself from Lock Picking/Bumping



    This post is for you if you live in an area where burglaries are common. Crime rates have risen significantly over the years, but you have nothing to fear if you take the proper security measures to protect yourself.

    At Travah, we make sure that your personal items are kept safe and secure from prying eyes. If your home is broken into through forced entry, you'll want to make sure that not everything is taken from you. Our diversion safes blend in with your surroundings and are unlikely to be seen by a thief. Travah will keep your valuables safe. Shop with us today.