Locks and Technological Innovative Products :: A Historical Perspective
The Pin and Tumbler lock was invented in 1848. That same basic design provides the security for a very high percentage of lockable doors in America today. In 164 years the package and technology inside have changed very little.
The iPad 2 was released to the public on March 11, 2011. The iPad 3 unveiled yesterday. The 3 is a very different machine than it’s predecessor, sporting a high definition display and more powerful processors. In short, the package is similar while the technology inside is evolving at an incredible rate.
It is easy to look at the above and question our priorities, but I believe what we should be questioning is our perception. iPads are fun, independent machines with many uses that (aside from the money) are easily replaceable. Locks however are necessary fixtures with one use that require money, tools, time and often patience to change.
In the case of locks, are we are inclined to stick with what we have simply because they’re installed on our doors? We insert our key, the lock opens and our sense of security remains intact. That same sense bolstered perhaps by the simple fact that we have never had a break in. Our locks are not broke, so why would we fix them?
Here is a Fact (about Lock Bumping)
If you have a pin and tumbler lock on your home it may not be broken but it is vulnerable to a technique known as lock bumping. In this type of lock, the pins are of varying sizes within the cylinder which correspond to the cut of your key. Inserting the key makes everything line up within the cylinder so the tumbler can turn, unlocking the door.
To bump a lock open, someone must have a specially cut key for your brand of lock. The cut of the bump key looks almost like sharks teeth. The bump key is inserted just shy of completely and the back of the key is, then, tapped or “bumped”. The physics of this cause all of the pins to line up for a split second in which the key can be turned and the lock can be opened.
What to Kwikset Locks do to Protect Against Lock Bumping?
This week, thanks to Home Depot, we have been evaluating the Kwikset touchpad keyless entry dead latch. Keyless here means that we can press a preset combination of buttons on the touchpad and the lock will electronically open. This lock comes with a physical key as a backup. but It also comes with something called “BumpGuard“.
Kwikset has a video on its website explaining what is different about a “BumpGuard” lock.
Kwikset Lock Bumping Protection. This page is flash so, ironically, it is best to visit it on something other than an iPad.
Essentially, the difference is that in a BumpGuard lock, a side locking bar technology replaces the traditional pin and tumbler. While the Kwikset key may look the same, what is on the inside of the lock is very different.
Kwikset is not the only brand out there creating locks which cannot be bumped. The question remains whether bump-proof locks are pickable. It is safe to say, though, that picking a lock is a skill that is much harder to acquire than a bump key. They are easily purchased online. Security, like anything else, is a relative term.
LOCK BUMPING on Wikipedia
A very informative WHITE PAPER on Lock Bumping from TOOOL (The Open Organization of Lock Pickers).
Quick Aside (an Outtake):
There are 3 previous posts in this series:
The Home Depot provided all products used in this review.
Links and Statements
Disclosure Statement: The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their KwikSet Lock product. As part of this promotion, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.