Category Archives: Security

Protect your keys 101

Technology is never at a standstill and along with the good also comes the bad. Of course we all love our smartphones, can’t imagine our life without it anymore, right?

Unfortunately tech-savy burglars have discovered a new way to use our favorite device to break into our houses or cars the easy way. With the help of a smartphone app and an online key printing service it only takes two pictures and the thieves could potentially have a working copy of your house or car keys without you ever knowing anything about it.

But is it really that easy? When could somebody unbeknownst to you snap two pictures of your keys (front and back)? Situations where you could be at risk are when your car is at the repair shop, if you hand your keys over for valet parking or if you give your house keys to a contractor. Basically anytime you hand over your keys to somebody else and let them out of your sight there’s a potential for an indivdual to take the pictures.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Don’t leave your keys lying on your desk in the office, especially if it’s a high-traffic area where the public also has access.
  • If somebody wants to borrow your keys make sure that it’s a person you know and can trust.
  • Don’t post pictures of your keys on social media sites. Some keys have their cut codes stamped onto them, which would make it easy for anyone to get a copy.
  • Up your security. Get high-security locks that are harder to duplicate than the standard keys you get at big box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.
  • If you have to let your keys out of your sight make sure that the individuals you’re dealing with are trustworthy, be it the car mechanic, cleaning service, or the plumber. Get references before you hand over your keys.

If you would like to talk about installing high-security locks email Jim or give him a call at 860-678-9797. He can help you make your Connecticut home more secure. Jim Arsenault is a Connecticut licensed Master Locksmith with over 30 years experience.

To lock or not to lock

Screening Checkpoint Boston LoganWith summer fast approaching many families are starting to plan their vacation. Often it involves air travel and the question comes up on what to do about locking the suitcases. Nobody really wants to leave their belongings unprotected but on the other hand air travel regulations have to be followed and that means that bags have to be accessible to searches.

The heightened air travel security measures established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after September 11, 2001 require that all luggage has to be screened before it is allowed to be loaded onto a commercial aircraft (checked and carry-on). TSA employees electronically scan bags without having to open them but if a piece of luggage is chosen for a random manual search the TSA screeners have the authority to open the bag.

So that travelers can secure their baggage the TSA has mandated that travelers must use approved luggage locks. These “TSA locks” allow the screeners to open the bag with a master key. If the lock is not a TSA lock and the screener can’t open the bag any other way the lock will be cut. Which locks are approved? Any lock with the Travel Sentry identifying mark (red diamond) is accepted by the TSA and may be opened by the TSA using the master key. Some luggage has TSA locks built in, you’ll recognize these suitcases also by the red diamond on the lock.

If you use a TSA approved lock how will you know if your suitcase was opened? For one you’ll find a “Notice of Baggage Inspection” in your bag, put there by a TSA officer. And on some locks a gauge switches from red to green. For checked luggage it makes sense to get the TSA locks, for carry-on bags you can probably use any luggage lock since you’ll be able to unlock the bag in the presence of the screener if it’s required.

Have a bunch of non-TSA locks? Don’t throw them away just yet. You can use them when you’re not traveling by plane to keep your suitcases locked in the hotel or if you’re on a cruise. Of course, if you have valuables such as jewelry you’ll want to put those in the hotel safe during your stay.

Jim is a CT licensed Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He repairs locks, rekeys locks and installs new locks in Connecticut homes. Email Jim Arsenault or call him at 860-678-9797.

Image by U.S. Federal Government (Transportation Security Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Locksmith sues Google

We’re all using Google Maps, no doubt about it. The free service has taken over the phone book when it comes to looking for businesses that are close by a user’s location. Plumbers, restaurants, movie theaters, locksmiths… all available with a mouse click or with a swipe on mobile devices. But what many consumers don’t realize is that some of the businesses showing up in the search are fake.

A Washington D.C. locksmith has had enough. He is claiming that Google allows bogus listings to be displayed in search results, often higher than his own legitimate locksmith business listing. He says he’s lost a third of revenue over the last six years. The locksmith is suing Google because they refuse to remove fraudulent locksmith listings. This practice of creating false listings on Google maps is called “map-jacking.”

An Internet security expert reviewed the methods a scammer used to create hundreds of fraudulent listings and found that it is a flaw in how Google’s system is set up. The flaw could be fixed fairly quickly.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Google “proactively clutter search results with false listing” and “deliberately mislead consumers by publishing false information with prior knowledge that the information is deceptive.”

Google so far has not commented.

Jim is a CT licensed Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He repairs locks, rekeys locks or installs new locks at Connecticut homes or businesses. Email Jim Arsenault or call him at 860-678-9797.

High security digital locks

trilogy 3500The Trilogy® high security mortise lock is the perfect advanced access system for many types of businesses, from law & healthcare practices to auto dealerships! It offers convenient keyless PIN code entry for retail stores and business offices – ideal for restaurants.

Add dependable wireless access control that easily retrofits standard knobsets. Easily get keyfree convenience & enhance access security:

  • Create security user codes (3-6 digits) and/or program HID prox cards for new employees, managers, supervisors, contractors, etc.
  • Restrict employee access during non-work hours
  • Allow vendors and/or delivery personnel access during specified times
  • Control automatic unlocking and relocking during business hours or during scheduled times
  • Audit trail records are time/date stamped and HIPPA-compliant for securing private health records
  • Print audit trails from a PC or wireless handheld printer
  • Grade 1 durability & weatherproof technology make Trilogy the #1 choice everywhere secured access or egress is a concern
  • Fingertip programmable with the vandalproof, all-metal keypad
  • Long-life battery operation.

Have a question about how to implement electronic locks in your CT business or institution? Email Jim Arsenault or call him at 860-678-9797.

Tips to keep your home and family protected this Halloween

Happy Halloween
If you’re out and about this Halloween attending one of the many fun Halloween events in the Hartford area make sure you’re following these tips to keep your home and your family protected from scary witches and mischievous goblins.

  • Don’t post your Halloween plans on Facebook, Twitter, etc. – even if you’re planning on staying home. Twitter posts are for everyone to see (unless you set your tweets to be protected). No need for the world to know where exactly you are and what you are planning. It makes it really easy for burglars to get exact details about your whereabouts and to help themselves to your belongings while you are out.
  • Motion sensor lights are great to have. Not only do they help the trick-or-treaters find their way safely to your front door, they also help keep pranksters away.
  • If you are leaving the house to go to a halloween party or an event, and you have a home security system, make sure you activate it.
  • Keep pets inside. Many pets get frightened by unexpected noises and lots of people walking around and might run off.

Stay safe this Halloween, and don’t forget – Jim is a CT licensed Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He’ll repair your locks or install a new lock at your Connecticut home or business and you’ll never have to worry. Simply email or give him a call at 860-678-9797.