How many keys do you have?
While getting the mail I noted that I have four keys on my keychain. One for the house, one for the mailbox and two for the toolbox I never lock. I used to have car keys, but those have been replaced with a key-fob/electronic thingy that hides an RFID system and buttons to send radio signals. Now all I have to do is to walk near my car and it detects my presence then I can open the door by just pulling the handle.
It’s kind of weird.
I find the whole key thing a bit weird. Why have keys at all? They’re mostly used to mark our territory. This is my key to my house. My toolbox, my tools. Not your tools, my tools. Keep your hands off my tools. Keys help us enforce our claim on things. The only people who can use my car are the people I give my keys to – well that and answering a very long questionnaire regarding driving record, health conditions, current insurance, etc.
When I was young I thought that the more keys you had the more successful you were. I mean, makes sense right? Lots of keys, lots of access to places and things that only key holders have.
Then I got a job as a security guard and discovered how bad a job locks really do at protecting your stuff. One of the first things my boss told me is that locks only keep honest people out. He then showed me three different ways of opening a locked door without a key. At one of the factory sites I worked at we had a Slim-Jim tool in the desk drawer because so many of the workers locked the keys in their cars. We also had jumper cables for the same absentminded employees. Think about it, if I wanted a car, it was just a Slim-Jim and thirty seconds away.
Luckily for the employees I was honest and they drove worthless junker cars.
If you really want to scare yourself about your front door lock, just do a YouTube search for the LockPickingLawyer. That will just make you want to sit behind your front door with a baseball bat.
But, don’t worry that much about it. Turns out the bad guys are also lazy. The other thing I learned as a guard is that most crimes are “crimes of opportunity.” A person drives by your house, sees a package and takes it. Teens find your car with the keys in the ignition and take it for a joy ride. Burglars rarely need to force a door open as so many people forget to lockup when they leave. All it takes is one unlocked window or door and your laptop will be on its way to Albany to be repurposed to a hacking tool.
So, in general if you just lock up and don’t leave things in sight to be stolen, most thieves just move down to the next house.
Our on-line life has become about the same. We all have user names and passwords and we’re all afraid of being hacked. Most people at least try to have difficult passwords, but few of us can’t remember a “secure” password. When I did IT desktop support way back in the last century, I could hack into most user accounts by just looking around the user’s desk for the yellow sticky note with their secure password written on it.
I hate to tell you this, but if the bad guys or FBI wants into your bank account badly enough, they’ll get in. It might take time or cost them a lot of money, but there’s little you can do to stop them. The best you can do is balance the cost equation in your favor. That is keep less money in your bank account than it will cost the bad guys to crack into your account – oh and do use a secure password those cost more to hack through. Really, you can get seriously depressed if you think about it too much or spend too much time talking to experts like the LockPickingLawyer or guys like me.
That begs the question what are we to do?
Most you likely have an answer to that question. I suppose I could launch into a great long thing about not having too many things or how we shouldn’t value things so much. We should focus on the important parts of life, our health, our relationships and family.
But, I’ll let you write that ending.