Bump Keys Are Today’s Skeleton Keys

Locking your doors is a first step to securing your home.

However after conducting thousands of seminars on personal security I’m amazed at how many people do not lock their doors. That one simple act can prevent a door jiggling burglar from choosing your home. However if you do lock your doors, the quality of your locks can impact your security.

Lock bumping as its known is a lock picking method that involves inserting a modified key similar to the original and lightly bumping or hitting the key with a hammer or other blunt instrument. As the key is bumped the knob is gently twisted back and forth allowing the locks tumblers to fall in place. Carefully crafting a bump key and manipulating the knob allows the modified key to unlock the door.

Locks are made up of a series of pins and springs that when properly lined up allow the fitted key to turn, thus opening the lock. Bump keys are designed to trick the pins and springs by designing the bump key to accommodate the pins and keys in a variety of ways that ultimately come together by force or through bumping and turning.

Locks manufactured utilizing “programmable side bars” and do not utilize “top pins” are considered bump proof.  Other locks that are electronic, magnetic, disc tumbler or use rotating disks are generally considered bump proof.  This is general advice that should be followed up by enlisting a certified locksmith to guide you in a safe and secure direction.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.