Room safes are really the only option for protecting your valuables when you're staying at a hotel. But if you thought those safes were a sure way to keep your precious items secure, think again.
Thanks to a new YouTube demonstration from Jim Stickley, a cyber security expert, you can see just how easy it can be to break into a hotel safe. Using simple tools and a paper clip-like object, Stickley easily opens the safe, without knowing the code, in less than two minutes.
"People often think the room itself is secure," Stickley told The Huffington Post. "They know that the cleaning crew may have access, but think that is a low risk especially if they use the hotel room safe. The reality is that gaining access to a person's hotel room is not difficult."
"The video demonstrates that a person with the right combination of skill, tools, and desire can circumvent a hotel safe," said Chris McGoey, a security expert who runs Los Angeles-based McGoey Security Consulting. "Most hotel employees, other than maintenance or security staff, do not possess such skill or the desire to break into safes for a living."
McGoey pointed out that Stickley doesn't address in the video how a non-hotel employee would actually get inside the hotel room in the event he or she wanted to break in.
"I advise people who travel to keep important items or things of value with you, use the office safe, or leave them at home," said McGoey, adding that travelers should keep these points in mind:
- Hotel safes provide only a minimum level of security for your valuables.
- Hotel safes are a step above hiding your valuables in your luggage, in a drawer, or in clothing.
- Hotel safes are often not secured to the wall or closet enclosure very well.
- Hotel safes are not recommended for things of great value, importance, or one-of-a-kind items.
- Hotel safes have a limit of liability attached to their use should something of value be stolen.
- Hotels usually have a more secure safes in the office if you ask.
Follow these great tips and you'll travel safely every time.
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