This Week: Should you get smart locks on your front door… A good pocket gun to start with… A man who reacted perfectly while in Hawaii… Uber background checks… A reader calls me ignorant… And, don’t fly with the 11-in-1 survival tool.
According to the NYPD, there is a pair of lock picking serial burglars operating in Queens, NY. Two men have been committing burglaries over the last few months and have been linked to at least nine burglaries so far.
Most of the crimes have occurred during the day and the men simply pick the locks on apartment doors when no one is home. The thieves have stolen cell phones, computers, jewelry, cash, and even someone’s paycheck.
For those of you who have taken my Spy Course you know how easy it is to pick locks and after some practice many locks can be opened in seconds. (In a moment, I’ll tell you which locks you want to buy so burglars can’t get into your house easily.)
The thing is, because of advances in technology more manufacturers than ever are now producing Smart Locks and making people believe these are safer than the regular locks on our homes.
A Smart Lock is simply a lock that can be locked and unlocked when it receives a signal from an authorized device such as a smart phone or key fob. This means you simply walk up to the door and it will unlock after sensing the presence of your device.
These locks can range in price from $150 to $350 depending on all the options you want such as a video camera or audio on the lock.
But, the question is, are Smart Locks really a good idea?
Well, they sure are convenient. For example, if you were sitting at work wondering if you locked the front door it would be nice to check on your Smart Phone and be able to lock your house from your phone.
However, I’m a big believer that security needs to come before convenience and Smart Locks just have too many issues.
First, they can create more hassle than regular locks. What I mean is, if your Smart Lock runs out of batteries or has problems connecting with your phone it will be more of a problem than it’s worth.
I have a client who lives in Las Vegas and he recently had a complete home automation system installed in his home along with Smart Locks.
He was telling me he is considering having it all removed because he is constantly dealing with “glitches” in the system and the company has not been able to figure why.
More importantly, one of the biggest makers of Smart Locks revealed a security breach where someone created an app that gave them the code to many different locks.
The company fixed this, however, this is the number one reason I would avoid Smart Locks. Hackers are just too clever these days and there’s no end to the programs or apps they will create that will override your Smart Lock and easily get your front door open.
This is why I highly recommend having quality locks on your front door from companies such as Schalge or Medeco and avoiding Smart Locks for the time being.
From Scott M: I took my tactical pen through an airport for my first time with no issue. In fact, TSA searched my bag and took both of my 11-in-1 survival tools (one in laptop bag and one in toiletry bag.)
A: I would not recommend trying to fly with the 11 in 1 survival tool and I never fly with it myself. The two items I fly with are the Tactical Pen and the Micro Spy Tool.
From Laura R: I’m a newbie with guns but am starting to see I need one for defense. Would you recommend a Walther PPK for a woman?
A: I would not recommend that gun, it’s not super reliable. If you’re looking for a smaller gun I would check out the Glock 42, Sig Sauer P238, or Ruger LCP. Also, I highly recommend going to your local gun shop and trying out all of the guns you’re interested in to see which one feels best to you before buying anything.
From Sally S: Love your site and all the information. I know where I’m going to be getting gifts from now on. So many good ideas.
A: Thank you, it’s much appreciated. (Click here to visit the Spy Store and see all of the gift ideas we offer.)
From Jerry L: Jason, I just wish to corroborate your advice about “rush toward and take down these attackers.” My wife and I were in an old establishment in Hawaii that used to be a government building but is now a gift shop. We all heard what we believed was a gunshot from upstairs. I told my wife to get everyone out as I ran upstairs. It turned out to be a large table that fell flat onto a wooden floor. No harm, no foul. I always carry my tactical pen and spy tool and was prepared to engage if necessary. BTW: I teach my students how to use the tactical pen and spy tool! After 22 years of experience in black ops, I will gladly confirm that all the advice you give is absolutely correct. Thanks!
A: Glad to hear it was a false alarm and thank you for what you’re doing to teach people how to be safer and not be easy victims.
From Catherine D: I’m so glad that you have the same opinion on Uber as I do, Jason! I’ve held positions where I ordered in-depth security checks on staff, and believe me, I was amazed at what came up that I couldn’t find on-line or through local court records. I sincerely doubt that Uber does this type of check on its drivers because: 1) it takes too long, 2) they don’t want to pay to have it done, 3) they can flit around questions concerning this and say that they have done a check, when it’s only cursory.
A: You’re right, most people don’t realize there are several different types of background checks. I doubt Uber pays the money for the best one.
From Ben J: Hello, my name is Ben. After reading only 3 of your blog posts, I had to stop. Your posts are littered with ignorance and misinformation. I would highly recommend taking down your posts.
A: Well, what can I say, you can’t please everyone and the Internet is full of trolls.
From Jeff H: Do you still have any openings for your Spy Escape & Evasion course in Las Vegas this week?
A: The course in Las Vegas this week is completely sold out. If you’d like to sign up for next year’s training in Vegas, click here.