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Travelers, Beware of a new Vulnerability in Hotel Locks

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As you know we take safety seriously, both outdoors and while traveling. The other we learned of a new safety risk that impacts over 3 million hotel room locks worldwide. We don’t normally write about travel advisories and things of this nature but for some reason this isn’t getting much press. So lets quickly cover what the vulnerability is, what it affects, and finally what we can do as travelers to stay safe.

What is the Unsaflok Vulnerability?

This security vulnerability reveals critical flaws in Saflok electronic locks used in hotels and impacts over 3 million locks worldwide. Researches discovered the vulnerability and disclosed to the manufacturer in 2022. They have secured about 36% of the locks since then but it’s a slow process that will take a long time to complete. We tried to find a list of hotel chains that use these locks but were only able to identify IHG avid Hotel and Tru by Hilton. You can learn more about the vulnerability at the Unsaflok website.

Can you visually tell if your hotel room lock is vulnerable?

No but there are a couple of ways you might be able to tell, Unsaflok has all the details. We recommend assuming that your lock is vulnerable and taking the precautions below.

Will the deadbolt keep the room secure?

No the deadbolt can be overridden and opened by a bad guy exploiting this vulnerability.

How to secure your hotel room

With the knowledge that your hotel room lock may not be able to keep you and your belongings safe, lets discuss five key strategies we use every time we travel.

#1. Invest in a Portable Door Lock, Door Stopper Alarm, and Security Bar

For those seeking ultimate peace of mind, a combination of portable door lock, door stopper alarm, and security bar will keep out even the most determined bad guy. While they won’t do anything to keep unwanted visitors out while you are away, they will keep you and your loved ones safe while inside. On a personal note, I didn’t think these things would work at all. Especially for how inexpensive they are. I was wrong. They are simple and work like a charm. Now we pack one with us every time we travel.

With all three of these devices installed nobody will be forcing themselves in your hotel room without making a lot of noise. We recommend the bundle below for convenience and price, but you can buy them separately as well.

#2. Secure Sliding Doors and Windows

If your room has a balcony or ground-floor access, ensure that all sliding doors and windows are securely locked before leaving the room or going to bed. These entry points are often overlooked but can be especially vulnerable. If you purchased the bundle above (you should) you can use the door security bar to secure the windows and sliding doors. This versatility is why we recommend that bundle so much.

#3. Use the Hotel Safe

This is probably common sense but we often forget or don’t bother. Store all valuables like passports, electronics, and jewelry should in the hotel safe when not in use. This reduces the risk of them being stolen in the event of a room break-in. We have seen lots of “Life Hacks” about ways to hide your valuables while traveling but why bother. Your room has a safe, use it.

#4. Maintain Visual Privacy

Ensure the curtains or blinds are fully closed, especially when you are not in the room or during the night. This simple action can prevent potential intruders from peering into your space, assessing your belongings, or determining if the room is occupied, significantly reducing the likelihood of becoming a target.

#5. Keep a Low Profile with Your Personal Information

Be mindful about sharing personal details, such as your room number or travel plans, especially in public areas of the hotel. Disclosing too much information can make you a target. Opt for discretion and privacy to maintain a secure environment around your hotel stay.

Our Favorite Travel Safety Resources

There are a lot of great resources if you want to learn and be better informed but here are some of our favorites. If you are traveling out of the country we recommend checking out the State Department Website for travel alerts and info. This is a good guide on protecting your identity while traveling from experian. You should also check out this guide on preventing home burglary while traveling.

In Conclusion

In light of the Unsaflok vulnerability exposing flaws in hotel security, it’s more important than ever to be proactive about your safety while traveling. Combining awareness of such vulnerabilities with practical tips to secure your hotel room forms a robust defense against potential security threats. By staying informed and vigilant, travelers can enjoy their journeys with an added layer of protection, ensuring peace of mind and a secure environment throughout their stay. Stay safe, stay aware, and let your travels be filled with enjoyable and secure experiences.

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By Summer and Bill

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Summer and Bill are the dynamic duo behind Adventureite.com, a blog dedicated to inspiring others to explore the great outdoors. With a combined lifetime of experience traveling and adventuring across America, they have a wealth of knowledge to share. From hiking to camping, kayaking to travel, Summer and Bill are passionate about helping others discover the beauty of the natural world.

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