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Don't get Apple picked: How to protect your Mac from theft in public places

Ben Boychuk | Feb. 21, 2013
Protecting your Mac from theft in public places might seem like a pain, but taking a few steps can save you a lot of hassle down the road, as Ben Boychuk learned firsthand

Kensington also offers the SafeDock Air for 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models. Both retail for $90. As the name suggests, the SafeDock is a dock: Slide your in Air, flip up a security gate, and your machine is locked in. You still need a cable, though, to tie it down. The SafeDock is also ergonomic, providing a 4-inch lift for the laptop "for proper viewing."

Whereas Kensington locks use a MacBook's own security slot, Computer Security Products' Stop-Lock system requires attaching a security plate to the laptop's lid. At $44, Stop-Lock is competitive with Kensington's locks. Aesthetically, the Stop-Lock system might make Steve Jobs turn over in his grave, but it provides a double deterrent: a tight, keyed lock, plus a means of tracking and identifying the stolen computer if a thief somehow makes off with it. The plate is bar-coded; users register the ID number at Computer Security's website. Beneath the plate is a chemically bonded "tattoo" that says "stolen property" in bright, nonremovable red lettering.

Finally, for Apple's new Retina MacBooks, which lack the old security slot, Maclocks sells the $70 Security Clear Case Bundle. This clear, rigid polymer shell fixes to the bottom of the computer and incorporates the security slot to which you attach the included cable lock. The Clear Case also comes with a top clear polymer skin to help guard against scratches and wear and tear.

An ounce of prevention...

Perhaps one of the most important things to remember when you're securing your device is that thieves are less likely to steal what they cannot easily sell. Through a combination of software and hardware products, it's not hard to protect your MacBook from the scourge of Apple picking.

 

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