Today, folks, we want to take a closer look at a security issue that we have been trying to raise the awareness of here at Your Home Security Watch, and that is lock bumping. Lock bumping is the act of quickly and easily opening almost any lock with just a few simple tools. Anyone can learn how to do it quickly, and that’s what makes some people a bit uneasy.
Here’s a news report from back in 2007 that shows lock bumping in action, when it was just becoming national news.
Videos like this tend to freak people out and make them feel less secure in their homes, and this is why today we wanted to speak with a tech expert and self-styled hacker named Root Junky, who runs a popular tech-themed YouTube channel and who is very familiar with the lock bumping technique. We are doing this both to get more information on lock-bumping by someone who is adept at the technique themselves, while also gauging the importance of the issue overall. Is there any reason to fret over lock bumping? We want to get to the bottom of that right now.
In Root Junky’s video, entitled “How to unlock a schlage lock with a bump key and how to make it” demonstrates just how easy lock bumping can be, and in this video, he explains how lock bumping is done, and how to make your own bump key. Watch!
As you can see, Root Junky takes a perfectly ordinary and secure Schlage lock, and with a few whacks of his screwdriver, he uses his bump key to unlock the lock. Yes, that’s right. It was locked. Tap, tap. Unlocked. No big deal.
For many people who have not seen this done before, this can be an alarming thing to watch, because the act of lock bumping really takes no special skill, other than having a bump key and something to whack it with.
One of the main solutions we’ve talked about on this website is simply to install especially designed bump proof locks, but the fact is that the majority of locks out there are easily defeated by the lock bumping technique – some experts have even claimed that up to 90% of locks are bump-able, which is not reassuring.
Before you run around your home trying this technique on your own locks, or installing new bump-proof deadbolts on all your doors, have a listen to our interview with Root Junky on this topic and gain a broader perspective on the matter…
Recapping The Video – Lock Bumping Solutions with Root Junky
On the matter of lock bumping, clearly Root Junky has a special touch with locks being a hacker and all, having practiced lock picking and lock bumping them from a young age after seeing oversimplified lock-picking portrayed in movies. As he said, when lock bumping became somewhat of a public phenomenon in the early days of YouTube, Root Junky was there, trying it out for himself.
Now, to the uninformed, lock bumping might seem like something that maybe only a criminal would do, but this is not at all true. Originating as a locksmithing technique, lock bumping was never intentionally meant to be a break-and-enter tactic. Root Junky himself explains that he’s used lock bumping on many occasions as part of various jobs, and helping out friends who are locked out, explaining basically that it is just one more skill to know as part of being a locksmith.
On the other hand, as Root Junky says, your average bump key can defeat about 80% of locks on the market – including the brands everyone trusts like Kwikset and Schlage. This fact, taken on its own, its not reassuring to most people.
That said, Root Junky isn’t overly concerned about these stats. Why? Because, when you look at the big picture, he says, your front door isn’t necessarily going to be your number one target for a burglar. Instead, you might want to fortify your side doors, which are often left unlocked because they are more often forgotten, or take a look at your security level with regards to windows and other entryways. We agree that this is a reasonable perspective, overall, and that the bottom line is that a secure home involves looking at all home security weak points as a whole, and focusing on more than just the home’s main entryway. This might mean installing a security camera or two.
In addition, Root Junky does offer some solutions to the problem of lock bumping that are worth considering. One way to solve the lock bumping dilemma is to look at getting a brand or type of lock that isn’t included in the 80% of more common lock types where bump keys can be used. Take a look at this article featuring some of the best bump proof lock solutions, several of which go outside of the big two brands that are most often recommended.
Overall, if you take a measured approach to lock bumping, you can see that there are many ways to prevent it. As mentioned in the video, Root Junky has been defeating practically every lock he comes across for years now, and he has said that the so called “threat” of lock bumping is nothing to be overly concerned with. That said, we think that it is important to understand exactly what it is and why it could be a potential problem.
If you want to find out more about Root Junky, you can visit his official website here:
You can watch him on YouTube here:
You can also check out Root Junky’s new smart phone repair course, called PhonLab, by going here: