I recently learnt to pick locks. Eager to test out my skills, I tried picking a padlock I'd been using on a secure storage box for a number of years, and found that it only had one pin - I can get into it in less than a second. It's completely laughable. Scarily, it looks nearly identical to another padlock I have, which has 5 pins and takes me about 10 minutes to crack.
In order to get a better handle on the situation, I bought 5 padlocks, ranging from £1 to £30. From this limited sample, the quality of the lock and amount of time it took to pick was completely independent of the price. The £30 lock was indeed harder than the £1 lock, but one of the mid-priced locks was easiest of all. It seems to be almost impossible to gauge without actually attempting to pick the lock. This worries me.
How can one go about verifying that a padlock they're buying for security purposes has a reasonable security margin, before actually purchasing it? Are there any particular lock technologies or standards that are likely to be advertised on the packaging?