Lockpicking is an intensive exercise and it often doesn't work like it does in the movies with just a few seconds and some hastily put together wire. This means that many thieves look for shortcuts in order to gain access into your home so they don't have to worry about standing around for a handful of minutes awkwardly bent over a lock. Here are some shortcuts many thieves use to defeat your locks and what you can do about it.
Many professionals use something known as a "bump key" to gain access to your house nearly as quickly as they'd be able to if they had a key. The process involves shaving down a regular key so it has short teeth.
Then, with a little practice, a thief can insert it into a lock and then bump it at the right angle to fool the lock into thinking the regular key is being used. If you turn the lock at the right moment, enough pressure will be on the inner mechanism to let a thief open the door.
A common approach to preventing someone from using a bump key is to have a lock with a side-locking mechanism. This means that you can't line up the pins even for a second since the pressure is coming from the wrong angle internally to let a thief to that.
Illicit Key Copying
Another common shortcut thieves will use to gain access to your house is to actually just use a working key. This isn't a skeleton key or some special other kind of key either, they can use your actual key by finding a way to copy it.
If you keep a key under your mat, for example, they could hunt around for it when you aren't looking, make a copy of it, and then plan a full-scale burglary for later. Alternatively, there are other ways of gaining access to your key such as when you lend it to neighbors, or from smartphone apps.
Overall,if this is something you're worried about, it can be a good idea to try a technology called restricted keyway locks. This type of lock makes it so that it's hard to copy keys. It works by making it so that you only trust one locksmith with the making of your key and lock. That way, no one can make a copy of the key without being authorized.
Buying the right kind of locks is key to making your house harder than most to access. And if it frustrates a thief, chances are good they'll move on to some other house that doesn't have such protections.
For a professional locksmith, contact a company such as Bellows Locksmith.