One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe and prepared is to get a spare key made. You never know when you might lose yours or damage it to the point that it is no longer usable, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have a backup ready. This way, you can get into your home and sleep soundly knowing that you won’t be locked out or have to break a window in the worst case scenario.
However, some people are hesitant to get their keys copied due to concerns that it could potentially lead to security risks. This is a valid concern because if someone else were to get a hold of your copy, they could gain access to your home or car without being detected by the owner. That is why it is important to understand the process of key duplication and the risks associated with it.
Typically, the process of making a duplicate key is relatively straightforward. A locksmith will use a machine to make the new key using an original as a template. They will place the original key into a vise along with the blank key and then move them horizontally across the machine so that the blade can cut into the blank key. Once the duplicate key has been cut, it is sanded to give it a smooth finish. Then it will be tested in the lock to ensure that it works correctly.
Keys are used for a variety of reasons, from having a spare in case yours gets lost to giving access to trusted people like cleaners or house sitters without having to give them the real key. It is also common for people to get their keys duplicated in the event that they have damaged or worn down.
While there are many different reasons to get a key duplicated, it is important to remember that your keys are sensitive visual information and should be treated with the same caution as credit cards or driver’s licenses. UC San Diego computer science professor Stefan Savage says that while people often blur out the numbers on their bank cards and IDs before posting them online, many people don’t consider their keys to be private information that should be protected in the same way.
While it is possible to have a key duplicated, some keys are designed to be difficult to reproduce, either to improve their security or for other reasons, such as to ensure that they work properly in the lock. For example, certain locks from Medeco are labeled “Do Not Duplicate” to indicate that they require special tools for proper operation. While this disclaimer doesn’t carry the same weight in the US as it does elsewhere, it is still important to check with the manufacturer before having a key duplicated. If you have questions about whether a specific type of key can be duplicated, contact the locksmith who sold it to you.