In light of a recent article published by Forbes demonstrating a vulnerability with hotel keycard locks, it is good to remember that there are some basic precautions travelers should take to remain secure in their surroundings.
In general, hotels are very safe. But, travelers have to remember that hotels also include public places, and should act accordingly.
- There is no place in a hotel room that is a safe place to hide valuables. Always store your valuables inside an in-room safe, take them with you or lock them in the hotel’s safe.
- ALWAYS use your deadbolt and security latch when you are inside your room.
- Use the peephole to see who is outside your door and don’t open it for an unexpected visitor. If someone claims to be from the hotel, call the front desk to verify that the individual is indeed from the hotel.
- Always keep your room number confidential. If you do need to share your room number with someone such as hotel staff, a colleague or family member, do so quietly. This helps prevent unwanted knocks on your door or someone from fraudulently making a charge to your room.
- Don’t prop your room door open even for just a quick trip next door or to an ice machine. If you are traveling with family members, ask the hotel for adjoining rooms with inner connected doors. In the event these are not available, give members of your group a key to your room or ask them to knock.
- Always pay attention and treat hotel hallways just like you a public walkway. You wouldn’t leave valuables on a sidewalk, so don’t leave them in a hallway.
- If something makes you uncomfortable notify the hotel’s front desk personnel.
Frank Wolfe, CAE is the CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and an inductee into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter @frankwolfe.