Physical Security – Make Life Tough For Thieves

Protecting your PC or Mac with firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software is something you can’t avoid doing these days. It’s a Must Do on any computer owners list and most computer users are paying attention to the increasing number of online threats and properly securing their computers.

There’s no software to stop somebody breaking into your home or apartment and simply removing the entire computer is there? Nope. If a thief gets into your home you can kiss all your computer equipment goodbye!What about the actual computer itself though?

Lucky for you there’s lots you can do to make the life of any potential thief a living hell. Even better news is that pretty much all of these options are available to both PC and Mac users. If you were to combine a lock with some hard drive encryption software then you’ll really give these guys a headache if they ever try to steal your computer gear – so much of a headache in fact that they may not even bother stealing it in the first place. This is the idea – make your computer so much hassle to steal that they just leave it alone.

So let’s look at what physical security options you could use/

Cable locks
computer lockThis is one of the most common types of PC security device. It’s simple, effective and cost efficient. For desktop computers you’ll be provided with a cable and 2 plates. One plate is bonded to your computer case and the other is bonded (glued) to your computer desk or another large piece of furniture. The cable is then looped through hoops in each plate and securely locked at one end.

For laptop users it can be a bit more straightforward as many new laptops have a built-in computer security slot and the locking device attachs directly to this. The steel cable is then looped around the computer desk and the laptop is secure. Realistically it’s very important for companies to secure laptops to users desks – there’s a growing trend in “snatch and run” computer theft – especially from tailgaters entering companies unnoticed.

Keys are a factor in most cable lock security solutions and, being blunk, this is a constant nightmare for IT teams everywhere – users seem to love losing the keys to their laptop locks!

Computer Enclosures
This is basically a large steel box that you put your computer inside and then lock it. The front of the enclosure normally has a slim steel plate across the middle of it to allow access to drives and USB ports. The enclosure itself can be attached to your desktop with retaining bolts or it can be slung underneath your desk with the same bolts (to help keep your desktop tidy). You can buy a high quality computer enclosure for about $150.

Lockdown Plates
These are simply steel plates which are attached to your computer workstation. Using an industrial strength epoxy glue another plate itself is then attached to the underneath of your computer, printer or even a telephone. The plates are then screwed together and your piece of computer hardware is now pretty secure. The plates themselves are usually hidden from view and provide a neat, tidy and functional computer security option for users everywhere. You can expect to in the region of $50 – $80 for a lockdown plate kit for a PC or Mac.

Internal Alarm Cards
A novel solution that should prevent a lot of attempted computer theft. This is a PCI card fitted to the inside of your computer which is connected via an external cable to a secure point on your computer desk. If this cable is interfered with or removed the internal alarm card activates and blasts out an alarm signal at over 100 decibels – more than loud enough for anyone within several hundred feet to notice or to make the thieves change their minds and make a run for it. If you were to combine a computer enclosure and and alarm card you’ll be giving these guys more work than it’s worth to try and steal your precious computer.

Security Stickers
One of the most simple and least secure solutions. These are basically fixed on the desktop or laptop computer and will change color if tampered with or are very, very difficult to remove. The idea is that nobody will want to buy equipment that has one of these stickers attached. This is true for 90% of the population but 10% will turn a blind eye to this.

So now it’s just a matter of choosing which options works best for you and your computer – you have plenty to choose from.

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