Computer Locks

Physical Computer Locks (aka Kengsington Lock)

Laptop theft is a real and unfortunate threat. Many crimes happen when the laptop is left unattended for just a moment. To help prevent laptop theft, please follow some guidelines below.

If a laptop has been stolen, please contact the MIT police at

After the MIT Police has been notified, send mail to so that TIG members are notified of the situation.

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 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 $20 - $40 and can be found at office supply stores or online. Tig also has a limited supply of locks. Please come see us at 32-270 if you need one. 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. If you use your laptop at your desk, mount the supplied anchor firmly to the desk and attach the lock to it. Please ask Tig at if you need help with installing this.

Lock up your Add-On and USB devices

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 USB or other device that is sticking out of your machine. When not in use, remove these devices from the laptop and lock them in a safe place. Even when they aren’t being used, add-on devices can still consume battery power and contribute to the heat levels within your laptop while they are left inserted into their slots.

Register your laptop with MIT police

Registering your laptop with MIT Police is $10 and comes with a property security tag.

Use a docking station

Unbelievably, almost 40% of laptop theft occur in the office. 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.