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Physical Locks

Get a cable lock and use it

Over 80% of the laptops on the market are equipped with a Universal Security Slot (USS) that allows them to be attached to a cable lock or laptop alarm. While this may not stop determined hotel thieves with bolt cutters, it will effectively deter casual thieves who may take advantage of you while your sleeping in an airport lobby, leaving a table to go the bathroom, etc., Most of these devices are between $30 - $50 and can be found at office supply stores or online. In addition to the quality of the cable, consider the quality of the lock. (Tubular locks are preferable to the common tumbler lock design) And remember: They only work if you use them properly. Tether them to a strong immovable and unbreakable object.

Use a docking station

Unbelievably, almost 40% of laptop theft occur in the office. Poorly screened housekeeping staff, contractors, and disgruntled employees are the usual suspects. You can help prevent this by using a docking station that is permanently affixed to your desktop and has a feature which locks the laptop securely in place. If you are leaving it overnight, or for the weekend, lock your laptop in a secure filing cabinet in your office and lock your office door.

Lock up your PCMCIA cards

While locking your PC to desk with a cable lock may keep someone from walking away with your laptop, there is little you can do to keep someone from stealing the PCMCIA NIC card or modem that is sticking out of the side of your machine. When not in use, eject these cards from the laptop bay and lock them in a safe place. Your docking station should have a NIC card built into it at your desk, and if you are traveling you won't be connected to the network anyway. Even when they aren't being used, PCMCIA cards still consume battery power and contribute to the heat levels within your laptop while they are left inserted into their slots.
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Topic revision: 29 Nov 2006, JasonDorfman

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