Are Valuables in Your Locker Only Worth a Cheap Lock?

This is an important post if you use a locker without a padlock in a public place. I was oblivious to the difference in lock quality until I started going to the gym again. The wall poster showing recommended locks, and a notice that locker theft does happen, was a wake up call. Before that day, I was one of the people who thought any cheap lock was okay. I now know what is in my wallet is worth far more than the price of any lock I buy.

Lock choices I see in the gym locker room run the gamut from cheap children’s diary locks, TSA approved locks, three dollar padlocks to top of the line $150.00+ locks. Care to venture a guess as to what the most common locks are? Any lock under $8.00 for some reason. Though one of the gyms has a poster of locks they recommend and cheap locks are not on the approved list. I guess most gym locker users figure the poster is for other people and not them.

How much is your wallet or purse worth?

Some people, mostly Women feeling especially robbery conscious, park their car, open their trunk, and put their purse or other valuables in the trunk of their car. The idea is brilliant, except, there are probably thieves sitting in a car looking for someone doing this. A Woman recently arrested here in town is known to have broken into twelve cars in the last few months, and suspected in many more. The police cautioned of groups that specialize in robbing cars at gyms.

When conditions were right, the thief was in the car, into the trunk through the back seat and walking out of a big box store thirty minutes later with over one thousand dollars of merchandise, paid for with stolen credit cards. The big box store had videos of this happening, yet the Woman was successful several later times after she was found out. I imagine any credit cards not used were sold to another thief to use. Who knows about drivers license, medical cards, insurance cards, etc.

Back to the gym, the cheapest of lock can be opened with a shoelace. Other locks can be easily shimmed. Combination locks can be opened as quickly as forty seconds. You may take a look on youtube for lock videos if you wish. I did and I was shocked.

That was the day I put my $8.00 combo lock in the drawer and went to a lock shop and bought a serious lock. I started online, but customer ratings and review numbers are not an indication of how a secure a lock is. They are really only a price point ratio, imo. So I went to a brick and mortar store.

As the store owner told me, even the lock I bought isn’t impervious to being opened without a key. Due to the construction, I was told it can not be shimmed, and would take a professional some amount of time to pick it open. More than the minute or so, a group of thieves in a gym have. The object, I was told is making other lockers with cheap locks on them easier targets; which is the real purpose of a good lock.

How much should you pay for a lock? I am not the person to ask. I can say after shopping online, I went to a local locksmith and looked at a large selection of locks before making a purchase. I was shown about ten different locks, and eliminated five right away because I saw them shimmed on youtube videos. Of the four locks left I was told they were good locks, and it was more likely the locker would be damaged before the lock could be picked.

What does a stolen identity cost?

Of those, two locks were just too large for a gym locker. That left two locks to choose from. I asked if one had an advantage over the other, and which one would the business use. You need to decide what is the right lock for you. If you are using a cheap key or combo lock, it is only a matter of time before the contents of your locker will be stolen. How much will it cost to replace what would be taken?

It’s All in The Cloud, and Maybe Statistical Databases

Two years ago, I bought into the fantasy of Chromebooks. They were going to take over the computing world. I went (almost) all out, lots of memory, folds into a tablet. Thinking about the good things coming down the pipeline, it would be a great investment.

My Chromebook was going to replace one of my Desktops which were beginning to show their age. Just a few more programs or applications, some with local storage, and I would be all set. Two years later and this bubble has burst. I have a very expensive limited laptop or an overloaded tablet, depending on your view.

Apps missing local storage is the problem for me. Everything goes to the Cloud. I ask, what exactly is the Cloud? Why is my data safe, and why does every business and program want to store in the Cloud?

The Cloud is probably the same as one of my local hard drives, only tens of thousands of people are saving their files on it too. It is managed by thousands of people, some brilliant, some not so much. All prone to human error.

As with Application or game, nothing is for free. Buy a game and if you fail to spend money buying things for it, some algorithm(s) will filter you out, and is going to kick in and kill you off in one form or another.

Cloud Storage doesn’t always mean safe and secret storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the Cloud any different? Why are all these mega Companies so willing to keep my personal secrets, my family photos, my password listing, my favorite collections text files. I am of the opinion, just like paid game apps, nothing is for free?

It must cost a lot of money keeping thousands if not tens of thousands of programmers working on keeping data in the Cloud is millions of users can put their stuff in the cloud? This money is not coming from a Cloud Company’s good will. Cloud Storage, Cloud Computing, anything Cloud is a Business. Business needs to make a profit to survive.

Sure, I can manage local storage, but it’s not as simple and painless as Cloud storage. Why is this? Because someone has access to our files, our personal information, and someone is studying us using our data for profit. Nothing is free.

I use my overpriced Chromebook for basic things. I have an email account on the Cloud. I have some documents on the Cloud. I play my few basic games. I do not have anything sensitive, private, or important on my Chromebook, or in the Cloud.

With all that being said, the Cloud is not a guarantee of data safety and security. Hundreds of people around the world are trying to hack Cloud storage somewhere, every day and night. No one hosting free Cloud storage guarantees your pics, documents, and other files will still safely be there tomorrow.

And back to my biggest issue with the Cloud, “If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t write it down.” Sometimes we have to write it down. We don’t have to send it to the Cloud though, encrypted or not. Do you know anything about your Cloud Storage? Who really runs it, what happens to your files? Apple’s recent Siri problem is a good example. Siri listens while you _______?

I think someday the Cloud will burst, and if we wish to have Cloud storage, we will pay real money for it. The data being sucked out of the pictures and files stored in the Cloud, will be the same types of information stored in the Cloud a decade from now. People are people, and we haven’t changed much in the last x thousand years.

In the meantime, I have an overpriced tablet with an attached keyboard.