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Security Tip: Keep your keys away from the camera lens

You wouldn’t think about taking a picture of your credit card, right? You most likely would not let a stranger take a picture of your card or your car’s licence plate either.  Important information like that should not be so easily accessible, especially online.

Surprisingly, with recent developments in key technology, you should start treating your keys the same way.
Back in 2008 computer scientists in UC San Diego created software that can perform key duplications based on a photograph of key, without physically having the key.

The assumption that keys are inherently safe has been refuted by modern advancement in key duplication, imaging and optics.  A decent quality key photograph is sufficient, for such a program, to extract all important information in order to create an exact duplicate.
It is true that many companies are actively creating alternative locking systems, like encoding electromagnetic secrets, onto keys to add to the physical code.  Still, most residential keys, as well as many others, rely solely on the physical bumps and valleys on the key’s surface.

The UCSD developers of the duplicating software tried challenging their own creation by feeding it a photo of keys, taken from the roof of a campus, 200 feet from the keys.  The software was still able to create a successful duplicate.

Our tip to you: treat your keys as you would your credit card.   Keep the information secret and hidden.   When possible, only take them out of your pockets when you need to use them.

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