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Backpacking Security Essentials: Alastair Galpin reviews the Ila Wordlock

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Alastair Galpin, the second most successful Guinness World Records™ breaker the decade 2000-2009, travel enthusiast and promoter of social and environmental causes knows just how important it is to keep his belongings safe. “I’m paranoid about the security of my personal belongings. That’s to be expected thanks to my upbringing: I’m South African. Living in a country with some of the highest crime rates on the planet left me, and everyone else, with a choice. We could buy and replace our assets in a sporadic cycle set to the timings determined by thieves, or we could go lock-crazy. I chose the latter.”

This is where Be Safe Alarms came in, offering this impressive world recorder breaker an Ila Wordlock to keep his possessions safe and deter any unwanted attention. This personal locking system is unlike other padlocks as it asks the user to enter four letters or a four lettered word instead of digits. Let’s face it, in this modern digital age we have enough number passwords to remember as it is; something that Alastair welcomed with open arms; “Let’s say you want to chain up your backpack, as I do. I’ve set my Wordlock to ‘sack’ to help me remember this lock goes on my backpack, with an appropriate code. For other Wordlocks I use, I’ll choose codes which I can remember, but that a thief won’t easily figure out.

“The great thing about these locks is the codes are re-settable. So if you find my backpack and try to bypass my Wordlock, do you think you’ll succeed by spinning the dials to read “sack”? Not if I change that code before we meet…”

When backpacking you tend to carry your life in one bag – all the essential items you need to connect with the new friends you’ve made on your travels, find your way back from an unexpected trek and to ensure you’ve got some fresh clothes, it’s all packed in one bag. This backpack is vital for your survival. You probably have your passport and ticket back home in there, so it’s best to prevent the despicable situation of having its contents stolen.

Alastair continued in his review: “These nifty gadgets have got far more applicability than just as locks. If you’re a survivalist, as many youngsters aspire to be, you could use your Wordlock as a carabineer, a weight to balance small items on uneven surfaces in your tent, a mid-sight to aim through when lining up objects, a plumb line, or even as entertainment if you’re camping in the boondocks but miss your Scrabble!

“You might find other uses too, especially if you’re a lateral thinker, or a world record dreamer like me. At the end of the day, if you’re after locks – whether you come from a high-crime nation as I do, or whether you’re simply being prudent about the security of your assets, try out these Wordlocks. I did, and I’m satisfied so far.”

“If we meet on the road, you’ll know me by my world record antics. Check out how I’ve arranged my security needs, and remember to look for one thing in particular: my Wordlock.”

Security is something that we want and need wherever we are or might be going. However, we don’t want to be forgetting passwords left, right and centre, which is where this padlock with a twist can help. Don’t boggle your mind with numbers you’ll never remember, instead use a simple four letter word or four letters of your favourite word that will never be forgotten.


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