Why that hotel safe isn’t as secure as you think it is

Don't trust that hotel safe with your most expensive possessions.

Don't trust that hotel safe with your most expensive possessions.  (iStock)

Travelers often assume that those little metal hotel safes are pretty secure when it comes to keeping valuables safe.

But how safe are they really?

A new YouTube demonstration from Jim Stickley, a cyber security expert, shows that with a piece metal similar to a paperclip—and the right skill set—it’s actually pretty easy to break into a run of the mill hotel safe by bypassing the keypad altogether.

"People often think the room itself is secure," Stickley told The Huffington Post. "They know that the cleaning crew may have access, but think that is a low risk especially if they use the hotel room safe. The reality is that gaining access to a person's hotel room is not difficult." 

By maneuvering the piece of metal, Stickley quickly picks the lock, and you can hear a loud pop when it opens.

"I advise people who travel to keep important items or things of value with you, use the office safe, or leave them at home,"Chris McGoey, a security expert who runs Los Angeles-based McGoey Security Consulting, told The Huffington Post.

McGoey offers the following tips to travelers who wish to protect their valuables while on the road.

--Think of hotel safes as being minimally secure, a step above hiding valuables in luggage or hidden in a drawer

--Hotel safes that are not secured to the wall are not very secure 

--Hotel safes should not be used for things of great value, importance, or one-of-a-kind items

--Ask the concierge about secure safe. Hotels usually have one in their offices

[youtube sg-Ib5Echns]