The door is gaping open. Where are the things you had inside your locker? You knew you needed a better lock, but you forgot to get one. It was only once, so you figured it was safe enough.
You might think you can skip the lock, or grab a cheapie from the convenience store. After all, you can track a phone and call your credit card company. It’s not enough to intend to protect yourself. You have to take action.
Lost and stolen property can spell a lot of trouble. While it’s certainly not a world ender to make a few calls and use that cell phone insurance you weren’t sure you’d need, there’s more at stake. For example, in 2017, cases of identity theft caused a total loss of around $17 Billion. Sadly, this is just one of the things that can happen to things you put into your locker.
You Have Nothing to Hide
What if you’re not a very secretive person? You’re still not safe because you have private data to keep secure. It doesn’t take very long for a savvy thief to get all they need from you. Moreover, they can even leave your property seemingly untouched.
Worse than an obviously broken into locker is not knowing the theft happened. A bad, cheap, easy to pick lock can ruin years of your life. Infuriatingly, you may not even know it happened until you’re blindsided with the consequences. Whether it’s immediately apparent or not, theft can cripple you financially. At best, it’s still incredibly inconvenient.
Recovering From Identity Theft
You may be in for a long road to recovery, but at least there are steps you can take to correct and repair the problem. As soon as you notice your locker has been invaded, take careful stock of what you see. Take pictures if you can.
Note anything missing. If nothing is gone, then you need to be especially vigilant. Anyone can take pictures, download info to a thumb drive, or upload one to a computer without leaving a trace. It doesn’t even take much skill.
- File reports with credit agencies. If you’re sure something was misused, start the process of reversing the damage by acting fast.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Report it to the FTC if your identity has been stolen.
- Make a police report.
It may seem like overkill, but if you should need evidence in court later, a paperwork trail will help. In extreme cases, you could end up needing a new social security number, and you can’t get one without enough proof that the problem is ongoing. Identity and information theft is no joke. The consequences can follow you for years.
What Else Could Go Wrong
If you’re going through a messy divorce or handling a stalker, things can get worse still. Anyone can do you harm with enough personal information. A ‘regular’ thief is impersonal, but having a stalker or angry ex get their hands on your private information is more likely to be malicious and personal.
Physical items being stolen and used is awful. Losing your phone, or essential paperwork is its own form of trouble. The cost of replacing items is only one aspect of the theft.
A regular thief who doesn’t know you is surprisingly the least damaging form of theft. An angry ex or thieving co-worker can do a good deal of damage to your reputation with the right leverage.
If you have a stalker, the theft is almost certainly a sign of serious danger. When stalkers move from following and even threatening to more aggressive actions, it’s a sign of their intention to push things further. You may be personally in danger of more than theft. Please, if this happens to you, take immediate steps to file reports and protect yourself.
The effects of having personal property or your identity stolen can have far-reaching results you may not expect. What initially seemed like a minor problem can come back to haunt you. You may not discover the full extent of the damages for some time. Particularly when it comes to the way you react mentally.
Too many people think that strength and mental fortitude can ‘save’ them from feelings of betrayal, loss, inadequacy, and other emotional responses. That’s not how it works. Having someone sneak in and take from you can cause long term psychological responses you may not know how to interpret.
Take Time, Get Assistance
Trauma can take time to surface, especially if you repress how you feel. As a result, not dealing with how theft effects you mentally can cause more damage. If you or your loved ones notice changes in your behavior, your best bet is to see a professional therapist or at least a counselor.
You don’t have to take pills to feel better if you don’t want or need them. There are many ways to move past the problem. They may suggest self-defense classes or even art as coping mechanisms. Whatever they suggest, therapy can help get you back to your ‘normal,’ self.
What You Don’t Know Can Still Hurt You
Handling unseen theft is the worst. If you find your locker gaping open and nothing is missing, you may be relieved, but that’s when you need to really worry. It’s not hard to make copies of vital information. There are three basic steps you can take to help avoid or detect this sort of problem before you have it.
- Check Your Scores- Every adult should be checking on their credit scores regularly. It’s free, and you can see what debts you have. If something you didn’t order shows up, you may have a thief using your information.
- Watch Your Accounts- Plenty of people forget to check their bank accounts. Make a regular habit of checking at least once a week to see what’s been charged, and how your money is being moved, if at all.
- Identity Theft Protection- Pay the nominal fee to an insurance company to cover acts of identity theft. It won’t help the trauma, but it will save you a lot of time and help restore what was taken.
You can never really be too safe. If you want to add one more layer of protection to your locker, try picking up a small door alarm for inside your locker. Even if a thief gets inside, they’ll need the right remote control to turn off the 110-decibel alarm.
Alarms like these stick on easily with self-adhesive tape. You can install them in seconds and remove them when you’re done with the locker. The sound can be heard from a substantial distance, so everyone will know if the locker is opened without remote deactivation.
Always Lock Up Behind You
While none of these steps will keep a determined thief out of your locker, that’s what a good lock is for. At least taking some preemptive actions can help minimize trouble and allow you to spot it when it happens. In the meantime, check out our top picks for combination locks to secure your locker.
1- Master Lock 1530DPNK Padlock
It’s bright pink and easy to spot, so you won’t forget which locker is yours. The 1530PNK is a perfect pick for a classic style combination lock. It will keep the average thief out of your locker unless they can guess your numerical combination. Since there are 9999 possible combinations, it’s pretty unlikely.
If you’re looking for an affordable and familiar looking lock for your locker, this is the one. It’s similar to those used in high schools and gyms all across the country. The basic dial will let you get in and out quickly.
For added security, always make sure you’re alone if possible, and shield your lock from view when you open it. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your locker security. It’s better to be slightly paranoid than lose everything you felt was worth locking up in the first place.
The shim-proof mechanism on this lock will help keep people from prying your lock open. Likewise, a hardened steel shackle adds to your security. Hardened steel is much harder to cut through than other metal.
Moreover, the limited lifetime warranty means you can rest easier. Hopefully, you won’t ever need the warranty, but it’s always better to have an extra layer of security in place. Use a lock the manufacturer is willing to stand behind.
Get a lock on it here.
For those who have more than usual to protect, it’s hard to argue with a two pack of these clever locks. The ABRAFOX locks look like a standard dial lock at a distance, but they have one crucial difference. The wheel is alphabetical.
With a possible 17,576 letter combinations, no one is going to get your ‘password’ at a guess. Luckily, the unique style is also likely to cause some hesitation in most thieves simply because it’s different. After all, people fear change, and they aren’t sure how to handle deviations from what they expect.
Protected With Pride
The company that makes these locks is so confident you’ll be happy with them, that they offer a 100% money back guarantee. They’re proud of their product. Included anti-theft safety features, help prevent problems and a great design makes it simple to see what you’re doing.
There’s a distinct click as each letter sits in place, so you can hear as well as see what you’re doing. The wheel doesn’t free spin, and it’s not loose like a cheap high school locker dial. However, it does turn easily despite the firm fit. You can go keyless and have an easy to remember code all your own with a lock like these.
Dial your security up a notch right here.
3- Master Lock 178D Set Your Own Combination Padlock
If you’re forgetful, then your best bet is to pick up a programmable lock that lets you pick your own combination. The 178D has ten thousand possible options, so choose wisely. Also, always remember that you shouldn’t write down your codes anywhere that strangers or snoops might find them.
In Any Weather
Although most lockers are indoors only, the weatherproofing on this excellent lock is a nice bonus. No one wants a corroded lock. Not only is rust dangerous, but it’s also easier to cut through.
Gym lockers especially are still subject to pretty high moisture, particularly if they’re nearer to the showers. It may surprise you to learn that plain old water is one of the most corrosive substances on earth. Over time it can eat through solid rock and metal.
Much like your internet and bank accounts, changing your combination lock regularly is a smart idea. After all, it only takes a moment to surf a passcode over someone’s shoulder, and you almost certainly don’t have eyes in the back of your head.
The 178D has a solution to this problem that will save you money and time because it’s resettable. Why go out and buy another lock when you can change the key to this one instead? Using an ingenious solution to a common problem won this hardy lock its place on the list.
Set yourself up for security here.
4- Digit Combination Disc Padlock
When you need extra protection, a beefy industrial strength lock like this tough duo will get the job done. Bigger can undoubtedly be better. A disk padlock like these is proof that sometimes you need to go beyond basics to secure your property.
You’ll be pleased with this choice right out of the box. A unique design helps prevent anyone from being able to cut the shackle.
Additional anti-corrosion and anti-freezing qualities mean that this lock is ready for whatever thieves might throw at it. Plus, the weight and unique shape let you see and feel how sturdy your new lock is.
History of Excellence
Disk locks like these were invented in 1949 by the ABUS company. They saw a need to help their customers prevent burglars who use cutting tools to get access to private property.
Though the combination version would come later, the original models sported only a small keyhole to help prevent tampering.
A thief had to be able to pick a lock since their bolt cutters wouldn’t help with a disk lock. Naturally, these updated keyless masterpieces take it to the next level by keeping pickpockets from getting in with a stolen key.
Check the prices on these affordable and innovative locks here.
5- Squire Locks SS50 High-Security Combination Padlock
Lots of locks boast of their so-called security features. Don’t fall for a lock with decent marketing but no real quality. If you care about your secrets or have legitimate concerns about theft, then you need to improve your locks.
The SS50 lives up to its name with integrated and upgraded security features. Squire did such a good job they had to patent this design to prevent thieves of a different sort. Fortunately, you probably aren’t worried about someone stealing your original inventions. If you are, try an SS50 to keep your designs or prototypes safe.
Better Materials, Best Results
What makes one lock superior over others? Well, honestly there are lots of ways to improve a lock, but boron alloy is one of the best. In 2009, it was discovered that there are substances on earth harder than a diamond. Lonsdaleite is the strongest, but wurtzite boron nitride is also stronger than diamond.
Better yet, the wurtzite boron nitride can be combined with other metals to form a super durable alloy for making locks. You can’t forcibly open what you can’t cut. That makes this lock potentially one of the toughest on earth to crack.
Surprisingly, Squire Locks didn’t stop there. They also added five large wheeled combination dials. While most locks have three or four dials, this extra step means a considerable increase in potential combinations.
What you end up getting is 90,000 possible combinations on a lock that might be harder than a diamond to break. If you need more security than that, put your locker in a bunker. Then consider locking your bunker with locks made from the same patented boron alloy.
Get this outstanding lock here.
*Runner Up- FortLocks Gym Locker Lock
Perhaps you need security, but you feel like diamond hard metal, and 90,000 combinations are more than you need. You may want to consider the runner up.
The cleverly named FortLocks makes a decent four-wheeled combination lock in a similar style. It’s a heavy steel lock that will defend a locker against your average sneaky troublemaker.
After all, not every thief and crazy ex has top tier lock breaking technology. Similarly, not everyone is in an overkill-is-not-enough situation. When you need an excellent lock, then give this one a try. You’ll be surprised by the quality of this easy to find, orange lock. It almost made the list anyhow, so we’re giving it an honorable mention.
Grab a good lock here.
It’s never too soon to protect your property. The worst choice you can make for security is to delay it. While you can always find a reason to procrastinate and avoid the issue, it’s a bad decision. If you set yourself up for failure, that’s what you’ll get.
When you’re worried about catching a cheating spouse, you should hope you never see the locks on this list. Alternately, to thwart a lousy spouse, private investigator, or other prying eyes, you want to get the best lock you can find. Each of these carefully curated choices should help you keep intruders out of your business and your gym shorts.