When packing for a trip, we have no choice but to bring along some valuable essentials. This includes passports, extra cash, jewelry, and other precious items.
If you're staying at a hotel or motel, there's really nothing to worry about because you have access to a trusty room safe, right?
Well, these safes are not as 'safe' as you think...
Whether it be hotel rooms, motel rooms, Airbnb rooms, or cruise ship cabins, they've all been in hot water for issues regarding safety and privacy.
For example, a couple's dream vacation to Florida turned into a nightmare when they found a hidden camera on the side of the fire alarm in their Airbnb room. They felt that their security and privacy were jeopardized, making them uneasy to book another room with the online hospitality service.
This time, a YouTube video of a man breaking into a room safe has many people worried about planning their next trip.
YouTuber LockPickingLaywer uploaded a video suggesting that some security box models may have a weakness that leaves valuable belongings vulnerable to theft.
“What I have for you today is a public service announcement on Saflok hotel safes,” he said in his video, citing a single brand of hotel safe.
The YouTuber placed a bottle of scotch whiskey inside the safe and locked it inside with a four-digit passcode. He tested the passcode to prove that the safe was in working condition.
“What this hotel did not do is reset the admin password that comes from the factory. If we enter the super user mode that comes from the factory … this hotel safe will open right up,” he claimed, showing that no original combination is required. "If you're ever in a hotel that has one of these Saflok products, it might be a good idea to make sure that the hotel has reset the administrator password to protect your goods."
Watch LockPickingLawyer's full demonstration below:
That's not the only way to break into a hotel safe though. Simple tools and paper clip-like objects can easily open a safe in just minutes, according to Jim Stickley, a cyber security expert. He said travelers should keep in mind that hotel safes are often not secured to the wall, and only provide a minimum level of security.
The reality is that gaining access to a person's hotel room is not difficult," he told Huffington Post.
All that being said, there no need for you to shy away from booking your next vacation or getting creative about where to hide your valuables.
TripAdvisor suggests travelers should pack along a combination suitcase lock or take advantage of a hotel's office safe:
“Hotels are often liable for theft from lobby safes but not for theft from in-room safes. If you’re traveling with fine jewelry or heirlooms, the safe-deposit box is the place for them. Always get a written receipt for anything you leave with the front desk."