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Think Twice Before Using Hotel Room Safes

**After posting this story, I spoke of it on-air.  A “hacking professional” called to comment, and his comments are quite interesting.  After reading the story, watch the video, then check out his comments at the bottom of the story.**I was working at the computer at home this morning when my friend Smokey sent an instant message, asking if I saw the story about the hotel room safe default password. 

Knowing that Shannon and I relish our travel time, he wanted to make sure that I knew how ‘secure’ these safes were.

It seems that these safes have a default passcode, set at the factory,  to open them, usually all zeroes.  The individual hotels have the ability to change this default passcode, but how many of them will actually take the time required to change every one?

We usually leave our passports/IDs/money in the safe while we are on a cruise ship, and normally our large bills when we are abroad and away from the hotel for a day trip.  After watching the story on Gadling.com (an AOL blog site), I will now try this code to open my hotel room safe BEFORE I leave my valuables, EVERY TRIP!

(Via AOL.com)

**A gentleman called me after I spoke of this story on the air, and he is in the profession of ‘breaking in’ to things:  businesses hire him to test the security of their locks/systems.  His advice to me:  NEVER use the hotel room safe.

That word NEVER is quite strong!  He went on to tell me how un-secure (I think that I made up that word just now) these hotel room safes are, realistically.  He said that people can open them with simple tools (allen wrenches and rubber bands), and that the locking mechanism on them is very elementary.

His advice echoed the advice of the gentleman in the video:  If you MUST secure something, use the front desk safe-deposit box.  <<JayCee>>  **

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