Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Laptop Cable Lock

Boy, do I feel dumb.

Have you ever not seen something right in front of you simply because you weren't paying attention?

That's what happened to me.

I bought my current laptop online from Dell early in 2008 and kicked myself for not ensuring that it had a security port after not being able to find one on the back or right side like it was on two previous laptops. Most laptops have it and, since my last laptop was made by Dell and had a security port, I expected the feature to be standard on the series. Sure, I could have returned the laptop and gotten another, but I liked the other features too much which is why I selected it in the first place.

So, for close to two years, I haven't taken my laptop to the public library because I couldn't figure out how to secure it and didn't want to have to carry it with me every second.

However, on Christmas Day, probably due to the atypical blizzard that shut down mid-Oklahoma through the top half of Texas, I found myself contemplating the ports on my laptop where I discovered one on the LEFT side that I didn't remember having seen before.

"Wait a minute. That looks like..."

I got my cable lock, fit it into the hole, and it locked down tight. Sure enough, the left side is where Dell put the security port for this laptop. Boy, do I feel dumb for not noticing it before!

If you didn't know there's a way to secure your laptop, examine the back and BOTH sides for a little rectangular hole that doesn't seem to have a purpose (photo below). Then, visit a store that sells computer accessories or search online for "laptop cable lock" for the type of lock you prefer. There are combination locks, keyed locks, locks with short cables, locks with long cables, locks with expandable or retractable cables, locks with motion detectors, and locks that will link more than one device together provided each device has a security port.

Because my last laptop was stolen from the locked trunk of my car in broad daylight, I recommend getting a cable lock and figuring out how to secure your laptop to a part of your car as an additional theft deterrent. While your home owner's or renter's insurance policy may cover the theft of your laptop, the loss of the data you have on it will be what devastates you unless you're really good about keeping a current backup. Even then, losing personal data puts you at risk of identity theft.

Better safe than sorry.


r4i software said...

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Gail Rhea said...

Thank you! I'm glad you like it :).

Anonymous said...

Check out for more ways to protect your laptop and the data on it.

Gail Rhea said...

Yes, thank you for mentioning it. Along with password and data encryption, tracking software is another layer of protection of which the Computrace LoJack for Laptops by Absolute Software,, is probably the best known.

Rajesh at has posted a list of free tracking software: