Laptop security locks – Do they work?

by | Apr 14, 2009 | jahlberg

I’ve seen a lot of those cable locks tethered to a laptop at someone desk over the years and often wondered if they really work or are they just to give comfort the user and make a thief move on and skip that machine. Recently I had to find out and I have to say that they seem to actually work pretty well. We have a client that had a laptop tethered to a desk and it needed to be removed. They had an employee leave and no one could find the key to unlock the laptop. Looking at the little cable and lock we figured it would be a piece of cake to cut it off, and it would have been if we had one of the huge cable cutters.

We brought some tools to see what we could do. The best we could come up with was a hacksaw and a pair or wire/cable cutters and off were to give it a try. After a long frustrating attempt at cutting the cable, we tried the hacksaw which did not fare any better. The cable is really hard stuff to get through we found out. Then it was on to the lock. We tried the hacksaw and it didn’t even dent the metal and the cable cutter was not even a match for the cable let alone the lock. We then went for the small metal clip that connects the laptop to the cable and lock figuring that was the smallest piece and should be easy enough to cut off then freeing the laptop. We started with the cable cutters and gave up after a minute or two of not making much progress. We then went on to try the hacksaw which seemed to work. After about 5 minutes or more taking the hacksaw to the small metal clip by that connects to the laptop itself we finally made it through. Not an easy or fast effort to say the least.

For the most part, no one is going to wander around an office with a huge 3 foot heavy set of cable cutters which then leave smaller tools like a hack saw and small cable/wire cutters which is what he had brought from home to cut the lock. Since it took us so long to finally get the cable and lock off, I would safely say that these devices do actually work as a safeguard and are worth looking in to if you want to tether your laptop to your desk and keep it secure.





John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.


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