Protect Your Keys from Scanning App

front-page-top is one of a handful of new online services that provide physical key replacement. A free mobile app stores a picture of your key and for a small fee will either send you a physical copy or you can pick it up at a local kiosk (in NYC). The service is designed for people who find themselves locked out of their house or constantly losing their keys.

The concern is third parties such as valets, stalkers, and criminals making copies of your keys and entering your house. Realistically if a thief wants to break into your home they will find a way, though opportunity does provide an incentive. offers some protections against this type of abuse such as requiring a credit card for payment. Unfortunately a Wired author demonstrated these protections are easy to bypass.

The real problem is not key duplication services, it is who you trust with your keys. We are often talking about securing your digital accounts with strong passwords and keeping them private. In real life keeping your physical keys secure is just as important.

• Only give your car key to the valet; and only for businesses that offer valet service.
• Keep your keys out of sight and on your person when you are at the bar or other public places.
• Don’t leave your keys out in the open on your desk at work.
• Don’t keep your home address printed with your keys.

Services like provide a resource for people who are constantly locking themselves out of their apartment or losing their keys. Just remember, it only take a few seconds to take a picture of your keys. Simple precautions make sure they are secure.

Links and Resources:
Wired: The App I Used to Break Into My Neighbor’s Home
Sophos: How to break into people’s homes with your mobile phone

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