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Key Tracking Best Practices: How to Track Your Keys, Locks, and Users

instakey key tracking best practices blog

There are many components of creating key control for your organization that is streamlined and cost-effective. Your keyed security can have a big impact on the safety of your employees, facilities, and products. And not having a strong physical security program can have a big impact on your bottom line. Once you’ve implemented a secure lock and key program for your organization, the last piece of your key control puzzle is key tracking. Key tracking is how you ensure that your keys and locks are being used properly and that only the people you provide access to can get into your facilities/locations. 

Key Tracking Best Practices

Keeping track of your keys is a detailed process where the accuracy of your records can have a big impact on your overall physical security. Consider the size of your organization, how many locations you keep track of, and how many employees are key holders, and you can quickly see how your key tracking can get out of hand. In order to track your key control efficiently, you’ll need to implement some key tracking best practices. 

  • Keep Track of Every Key

There are two things you’ll need to keep track of to accomplish this: key serialization (another identifier on keys is useable as well) and restricted keys. Serialized keys have a unique alpha-numeric code stamped into each key which allows administrators to keep clear records and track every single key handed out to key holders. Restricted keys cannot be duplicated, because the key blanks necessary for duplication cannot be found on the open market. Eliminating key duplication ensures that you are keeping track of all keys in circulation.

  • Keep Track of Every Lock

There are a few different pieces of information to track in order to know where and how well all your locks are securing your facilities. You’ll need to track your locations and your doors at each and every facility within your organization. This information is vital in the event of a security breach. If an employee’s key is lost or stolen, you need to be able to look up exactly which locks are associated with that key to know which access points within your organization were affected and where to rekey.

Not only should you be keeping track of all the locations and facilities within your organization, you should also track the locks themselves. This can give you insight into how often locks are changed, which doors have the most and least access by key holders, and how many locks are installed by location or facility. If you utilize rekeyable locks, you can use your data to track Step Changes with user-rekeyable key cores and associated keys.

  • Keep Track of Every User

While there are some pieces of user data that support your key control, it’s up to you to decide how much information about your user you need to effectively track your keys. User information can be similar to data collected by other areas of your organization like Human Resources. When tracking key holders, hold onto data about name, title, keys held, and contact information. This information is what you’ll need to distribute new keys after a rekey, keep track of key holders who move between facilities or leave your organization, and to get in touch with key holders who haven’t returned their keys. 

How can you put your key tracking best practices into place? That’s where key tracking software comes in to streamline your entire key tracking process and day-to-day key management.

Key Tracking Software

There are a number of different options for key tracking. The most effective and efficient is key tracking software that has been designed to keep track of your locks, keys, and users and is cloud-based for easy access. By using software specifically designed to track keys, you can avoid the hassle of trying to make other software (like a simple spreadsheet) work for your needs. Instead, you can jump right into implementing your key tracking best practices in software designed to support those same key tracking categories mentioned above. 

When deciding on a key tracking solution for your organization, there are two measurements you can use to judge each software for its ability to support your key control needs: how accessible it is and how accurately it enables your tracking.


For key tracking software to work for organizations with multiple facilities and/or administrators, your solution will need to be accessible to multiple people in different areas allowing for data to be disseminated. Look for key tracking software that is cloud-based so that you can see your data from anywhere you have internet access. Having total accessibility to your key tracking functionality is a crucial component of responding quickly to a keyed security breach, pulling data accurately and efficiently, and streamlining your key management.


In order to run reliable reports and pull accurate lists about your keys, locks, and users, you need to rest assured that your data is correct. Data inaccuracies can occur in a number of different ways, from having multiple users making changes to data not getting updated regularly. Key tracking software can improve the accuracy of your key tracking with cloud-based data storage and easy access for multiple users. Software designed for the purpose of key tracking also means you won’t introduce potential errors into your data with self-managed databases, poorly labeled columns, or discrepancies in the organization of your tracking. With software designed for key tracking, the infrastructure for your key tracking best practices are already enabled — all you need to do is enter the data.


InstaKey’s key tracking software is designed on key tracking best practices. With cloud-based software, you and other key managers can access your data from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You have real-time visibility into your keys, locks, and users with easy-to-use dashboards and standard reporting. And since our software is designed by key security experts, you know that you’re getting a product that’s designed to suit your needs exactly. Learn more about with the button below.

InstaKey's Key Tracking Software