Lock Bumping; How Can You Protect Yourself from It?
Commonly referred to as ‘rapping’ or ‘key bumping’, lock bumping is lock picking technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially adapted bump key. It began its life as a specialist trick of the locksmith’s trade, however, as the years have passed, the technique has become a trick in the book of criminal’s intent on gaining illegal entry to properties, and as such, pains have been taken to ensure that modern locking systems are immune to it.
What is a bump key and lock bumping?
Made by taking a key that already fits into a certain type of lock and filing it down, a bump key is used in a lock along with a tool of some description to hit the key, or bump it, until the pin is forced to bounce and the lock comes open.
When was a bump key first in use?
Way back in 1928, a US patent appeared by a gentleman called H.R. Simpson for what was then referred to as a rapping key, while the use of a bump key (similar but not quite the same) was introduced much later. Recognized as a security threat in 2002-2003 by a German individual, security experts then began talking publicly about bump keys and lock bumping, notably about its potential as a threat to security.
What locks are most vulnerable to lock bumping?
Lock bumping is perhaps most effective in homes with older locks that have internal tumblers, and unfortunately, many online tutorials are in existence that detail exactly how to use a bump key.
How can you protect your home or business from lock bumping?
Fortunately, there are a range of steps you can take to help protect your property (and its inhabitants) from anyone using a bump key to try and gain entry:
- Invest in a high-security lock
- Use different types of locks
- Install a security system
If you’re at all worried about becoming the victim of lock bumping, talk to your local locksmith at the earliest opportunity and help put your mind at ease by taking on board their advice and security upgrade suggestions.