How To Protect Yourself From Hotel Key Card Lock Picking
Just as with everything electronic these days, hackers are finding ways around the encrypted hotel key card locks that are supposed to keep you safe in your room when you travel. The hacking can be done by hotel employees, people who get their hands on the cards while employees aren't looking, and even by hotel guests who hack the cards to their own rooms and then use the compromised cards to break into the same rooms later. Some of the more industrious hackers are even managing to adjust the cards to their liking from remote locations.
So, how can you protect yourself from hotel key card hackers? Here are some tips:
1. Ask the Hotel If It Has Had Any Hacking Problems In the Past (and Bring Extra Security Protection Anyway)
Hotels that have had hacking problems are already looking for solutions. Some have already put them into place. If the hotel has not had any hacking problems, the chances of you being the first victim are small. You can probably use the key cards with confidence.
However, a hotel with no previous hacking problems is not 100 percent protected. You can never be too careful with your safety these days. Even if the hotel reports no problems thus far when you book your room, bring extra protection anyway. A small door stop wedged into the space between the door and the floor will make it much harder for anyone to get into your room, even if they have decoded your key card lock.
Also, be sure to always use the latch on the inside of the door when you're in your room. The harder you make it for hackers to get into your room, the more likely they will be to move on to an easier room.
2. Ask What Measures the Hotel Has Taken To Protect Rooms That Have Been Compromised
According to Engadget.com, some hotels that have had problems with key card hackers have taken preventive measures to make it harder for it to happen again and have contacted commercial locksmith services, like Anytime Lock Key & Door, to put caps on their electronic key data ports.
The caps offer a temporary solution until the commercial locksmith can send them hack-resistant firmware boards for all of their guest room doors. There are several locksmith companies offering this service to affected hotels and hotels that are concerned about getting hacked.
If your hotel has been hacked, but has corrected the problem through professional electronic locksmith services, you should be able to stay there and feel protected while you are in your room.
3. Ask What Company Provides the Technology for the Hotel's Electronic Locks
One particular company seems to have had more problems with key card lock hacking than others. This company provides electronic key card locks to around 4 million hotels around the world. When booking your hotel room, ask if the locks on the rooms are part of the big hacking scandal that recently hit that lock provider.
If they are, you may feel more comfortable staying elsewhere, even if the necessary fixes have been put into place. That is your call. However, some people will feel more protected just knowing their hotel locks are not part of the most well known key card hack operation to date in the hotel industry.
The world is far more complex than it used to be. The technology that was supposed to make us safer doesn't always work that way, especially as people become more savvy about how to get around that technology.
Even something as seemingly foolproof as a hotel key card can be compromised, allowing robbers into your hotel room. Use these tips above the next time you book a hotel to make sure you're as safe as possible on your travels.