Published on February 14th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
How to Choose the Best Cable Lock for Your Laptop
Whether you operate an electronics business or you simply like to use your laptop on the go, investing in a cable lock is one of the best ways to protect your laptop from being stolen. This is a particularly challenging problem for electronics retailers or businesses that utilize POS/computer-based systems for CX (customer experience) purposes.
While many different cable lock manufacturers are offering similar products, not all of them should be considered similar. Just like with anything else, there are high-quality products that are built to last, and there are low-quality products mass-produced purely for the sake of profit.
Image: JaggLive / Shutterstock.com
Knowing what to look for in a cable lock (or any type of security hardware for electronic devices) is incredibly important when searching for a manufacturer to purchase from. We’ve created the following list of tips to help you make a more informed purchasing decision. We go into detail about which product features to look for, costs, and other considerations you should keep in mind.
Not all laptops/devices have the same type of lock slot. Different manufacturers often use different designs/formats (e.g. a Sony lock slot might be different from one in a Dell laptop). Three different lock slots are used by most laptop manufacturers: Kensington, Kensington Mini, and Noble.
The most commonly used lock slot configuration is the Kensington. This particular lock slot has been around for over two decades and is what most manufacturers use on their devices. Kensington cable locks are standard-issue in most major IT departments.
This type of lock slot is so prevalent in the computer industry, that most IT professionals simply refer to it as a “lock slot” (without even knowing that other formats exist). Newer laptops, and especially those of a thinner build, might use the mini version of the Kensington lock slot.
Noble lock slots are less common than Kensington ones, however, they do feature heavily on Dell laptops. While Apple doesn’t include lock slots into its design, numerous third-party security companies have created an entire market around securing Macbooks.
If you’re in the market for Apple locks, you can check Maclocks for the perfect solution. The way that most of these Apple-based locks work is by including special attachments (which latch onto the laptop), and then securing the lock to those attachments. This is required because Apple does not include lock slots in their products.
Understand the Types of Locks Available
When you determine which type of lock slot your device has, you can move to the next step of the process (choosing which specific type of lock you want to use). There are numerous different lock styles available on the market.
Some use keys, some use combinations, some are electronic, etc. This decision comes down to your personal needs (or the needs of your organization). Most manufacturers make numerous different lock designs, all of which feature different product capabilities (e.g. sensor-based, electronic-based, lock/key, etc.).
Many organizations prefer to go the old school route (i.e. using a lock/key combination). This is because the locks can be set up with a master key (allowing your company’s IT head to easily gain access to any locked machines). This lock style is also a popular choice among retailers and other businesses that use electronic devices as a part of their customer experience.
Several companies also create locks (cable-based in addition to other styles) that work on multiple device types (e.g. iPads, POS systems, etc.). For retailers, these locks could be a saving grace (especially if they operate heavily-trafficked locations – which are always prone to theft).
If you’re a retail business (or otherwise include electronics into your CX strategy), you can most likely negotiate with a cable lock manufacturer for lowered prices (on bulk orders). Personal-use cable locks can be bought for fairly low prices via any major online retailer.
It really doesn’t matter what type of device you use personally (or your business uses). Your devices need to be protected, and the best way to do this (physically) is by using security hardware (i.e. cable locks).
While you might think that some of your devices don’t need a lock, you’d be wrong. Businesses will always be subject to theft, and with the ever-increasing usage (and value) of electronic devices, security needs to be a top priority.