Motherboard just shared a video in which locksmith and YouTuber MM Developer shows how easy it is to break into a hotel room. It's so simple, in fact, that you can do it with the takeout menu you usually find by the phone in your hotel room. It doesn’t even have to be a plastic one; as you can clearly see in the video below, he simply uses a paper menu folded over.
This method of lock picking is not actually picking a lock at all, but rather bypass entry. You may have seen someone get into a locked room with a credit card in the movies and thought it was just a movie trope, but it *is* possible.
You can't bypass a deadbolt this way, but your average hotel room door is shockingly easy to break into. This is really important information to know if you are the type who travels frequently, whether for business or pleasure, and especially if you're traveling out of the country. (Read: Why Travelers Should Carry Handcuff Keys). Do you have a plan in place for what to do if someone breaks into your room?
Some commenters on the video argued that it’s irresponsible to put a video online that shows how to bypass a locked door; but we think this is extremely important information for the average citizen to know. The better knowledge you have about your vulnerabilities, the better action you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your property.
One way to give yourself a little more peace of mind when you’re in a vulnerable situation like staying in a hotel room is to keep small, useful escape & evasion items on your person and stashed around your gear. This is the purpose we had in mind when we created our line of Urban Survival Gear. You can’t control the quality of the locks on your hotel room door, but with a practice, knowledge, and the right gear you can be your own best defense.
Last Updated: October 10, 2017
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