[ BUYER BEWARE] Just how secure is THAT padlock you are using?

A witty Kenyan rapper once spawned a lyric that said, one could easily determine the amount of wealth held by an individual by the size of the padlock guarding it.

Such a statement although bearing sound reasoning, equally brings forth a logic that seems absurd and utterly senseless.

Touching on the issue of security according to Maslow’s hierachy of needs, it lies at the 2nd base level of the pyramid and in order for one to achieve the highest pinnacle; s/he must first satisfy the lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth demands.

However, the attainment of such a feat is easier said than done largely due to the various setbacks that align the path to the fore mentioned goal. One such hindrance is the issue of theft.

Theft is a primary concern that one MUST face at some point in his/her life. Previous statistics have shown that in every minute, theft occurences are usually taking place.
And due to this, people take various precautions and one such step is through the use of a padlock.

However, despite such a theft evasive measure through the procurement of the lock device, thieves still manage to relieve hardworking people off their belongings. It becomes even more baffling when there is no evidence of forced entry whatsoever.

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How do they do it??? You might ask.

Well……. Read on and find out!

Padlocks come in various shapes, strength,weight and sizes nonetheless, their basic internal biology remain the same.
A typical padlock usually contains 3 main parts



And it is in these parts that lies the padlock’s strength and vulnerability. Intruders on a theft mission usually target these specific areas to gain entry. They can accomplish this by various techniques which include:

  • Lockpicking (targets the locking mechanism)
  • Single pin
  • Raking
  • Jiggling
  • Bumping
  • Shimming
  • Master key (targets the locking mechanism)
  • Copy cat key (targets the locking mechanism)
  • Cutting/sawing (targets the shackle/shank)


1. Copy cat keys

  • Avoid exposing your keys in plain sight whether at work, home, school etc

Reason : An ill motivated individual may obtain the exact copy of your key by simply obtaining an imprint by either pressing it against plasticine or bar soap.

  • Avoid making a copy of your keys from a nearby keymaker whether you trust them or not.

Reason : S/he maybe tempted to retain a copy, it is even worse off when s/he knows where you live.

2. Cutting/Sawing

  • Use a closed shackle padlock

Reason : A closed shackle padlock is one whereby the shackle is guarded to prevent either sawing or cutting.

3. Lock-picking

  • Use combination padlocks whereby you do NOT need a key rather you need a code (PIN)

Reason : Cracking codes takes more time and involves guessing unless obtained via espionage

4. Master key

  • Avoid street vendored ‘cheap’ padlocks

Reason : Cheap is expensive. Chances are, that padlock may just be a replica of genuine brands that can be opened by just about any key that fits into the keyhole thereby compromising the whole aspect of security with which it was intended for.

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5. Lockpicking, cutting or sawing

  • Invest in an alarm padlock.

Reason : Unlike other padlocks, this padlock has an extra feature of being armed with an alarm system. This is advantageous due to the fact that upon any forveful tampering with the device, sets off the alarm.



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