If you thought locking your suitcase with a "TSA-approved" lock would keep your belongings safe from thieves, think again.

Many suitcases include the approved locks, which can be opened by the US Transportation Security Administration to access passengers' luggage for security searches.

The TSA locks are numbered from 001 to 007 – and there's a master key that can access each of them.

However, the security of these master keys was breached in 2014, after a Washington Post report revealed them in a set of photos. While the images were quickly removed, security experts managed to clone all seven master keys using 3D printers, Tech Crunch reported.

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It turns out these locks are pretty much futile. Photo / News Limited
It turns out these locks are pretty much futile. Photo / News Limited

that five years later, the same 3D printed keys can still be used to unlock suitcases fitted with a TSA lock.

An investigation by UK consumer group Which? found they could print their own master keys on a machine costing just $379, or even get stainless steel versions made by professional printers.

In the hands of thieves, these keys could be used to access a suitcase and steal the contents without having to break into it.

After seven master keys for TSA locks were accidentally revealed, their security has been disputed. Photo / Getty Images
After seven master keys for TSA locks were accidentally revealed, their security has been disputed. Photo / Getty Images

While it is a concerning threat, travel security company Travel Sentry told the Sun the majority of travellers were not affected – as most thieves still used "brute force" to break into suitcases.