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Common sense tells us that if we want to keep our gear secure, we need to lock it up. Whether that means putting a U-lock on a bicycle, keeping guns in a heavy-duty floor safe, or double-clicking the “lock” button on a car's key fob, we all need to take measures to protect our valuables from thieves. However, many people don't consider the importance of the type of locks we use. Any form of lock will likely deter snatch-and-grab criminals, but more persistent (or desperate) criminals will take advantage of any security weaknesses they can find.
In the past, we posted a video that shows how easy it is to defeat an inexpensive Masterlock padlock without tools. If this didn't serve as a wake-up call about the security of the locks you own, check out the video below from lockpicking expert BosnianBill on YouTube. The video is titled “Why Combo Locks SUCK” — it might sound like a clickbait exaggeration, but see for yourself.
Disclaimer: We’re certainly not advocating you do anything against the law, so only practice this technique on locks you own. Please don’t do anything stupid and/or illegal with this knowledge, and if you do, we are not responsible.
This lock comes from ABUS, a German security company that produces locks which are generally regarded as high-quality. This lock is also rated at an 8/10 on the company's security scale, and uses a 5-digit combination. However, like most combination locks, it can be easily defeated. In BosnianBill's words, “If you use a combination lock, someone's going to steal your sh*t. Just get used to it.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
With about $25 dollars worth of shims and less than 30 seconds of effort, Bill pops the lock open without even touching the combination dial. While he uses his skill set for good, and to teach regular people about how to improve their security, there are plenty of others who might use this skill to steal. According to Bill, your best bet is to stick with a traditional key padlock. It may be a little less convenient, but it's a lot more secure.