05. How to Choose a Secure Code
We are often asked how secure are these keyless locks, really?
Well, we've been selling these products since 1997. We have yet to find a single, verifiable case where someone was able to guess the code and open the lock. So we are very confident in these locks—provided you select a good, secure secret code that can't be easily guessed and you safeguard that code.
What NOT to do when selecting you secret code:
If you want your lock to be secure, don't select your secret code in any of the following ways:
- NEVER use your birthdate! The bad guys know that people do this and it is one of the first things they try, since they can get this information from your driver's license or other ID if your wallet is lost or stolen.
- DON’T use a string of numbers sequential numbers like 1234! These rank are the most common iPhone PINs, so thieves try these first.
- AVOID your birth year — or any year from 1950 onward.
- DO NOT use the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number -- it is not secure.
- TAKE A PASS on your phone number, the birthdate of a child or grandchild. With an online search of public records, phone directories, or newspaper announcements, an Internet-savvy scoundrel can get that information.
- AVOID using the street or apartment number of your home, which is also easily found online and is also printed on your driver's license.
What numbers should you use?
Consider these other smarter strategies when selecting you secret code:
- One good idea would be to use a sequence of numbers from a childhood phone number or a long-unused company ID, BUT ONLY if it's no longer listed anywhere.
- Also, consider using a number that you dial frequently, but that is hard to trace to you, like a pizza shop.
- Thieves will have a hard time guessing that your favorite holiday is Halloween (1031).
- Also, consider using the date of a momentous event in your personal history, such as the date you hit that game-winning home run in Little League.
- If you use a word for your secret code, try basing it on a random phrase that you can recall, like 6488 for "now is the time" (NITT).
- Four-digit codes are most common, but go shorter or longer, to throw crooks off track.
How to safeguard your secret code:
Once you choose a good secret code, here are some suggestions on how to keep it safe:
- Never carry a reminder in your wallet.
- When entering your code on the lock, be sure to shield the keypad from prying eyes or hidden cameras. Make other people turn around and face away. Be especially wary of children who are quick to see and not so good at keeping secrets from their friends.
- Change your secret code regularly. Some experts recommend once a month, but definitely whenever you suspect someone may know it.
Adapted in part from: Kirchheimer, Sid. "Avoid a PIN-Number Data Breach." AARP. N.p., 08 Nov. 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012.