In my previous post, I wrote about SAFElinkTM, the new anti-theft service being offered by PlumChoice. This service takes care of your data in case of theft or loss, doing so via a software-based and cloud-based system.
Now let’s go back to more immediate security issues. When I say immediate, I don’t mean to discount what services like SAFElinkTM can do for laptop users. I am only thinking about how I go to a coffee shop practically every day to work for a couple of hours. For many people, using their laptops in public places is also a common occurrence. This is really the trend these days, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
For those of you who spend considerably long periods at coffee shops, you know very well that at some point, you have to go to the ladies’ or men’s room. Either you pack up all your stuff and take it with you – risking the loss of the table to some other customer – or you leave your laptop at the table secured by a laptop cable lock.
These locks have gained popularity simply because they offer an effective solution. I have to admit, though, that I have never used one of these locks. Maybe I am just too paranoid. And maybe I am right!
Just recently, the security – or lack of it – of cable locks have been examined. In a post by Marc Weber Tobias ((Source)), it was shown that one of the most popular laptop cable locks takes only seconds to crack. Hewlett Packard’s laptop locks – models BV411AA and BV411UT – apparently do not pose much of a challenge to the dedicated (or maybe even half-hearted) thief. Tobias shares that all he needed was a screwdriver to get a lock open. Watch and see.
There is the possibility that thieves may immediately be turned off once they see that a laptop has the lock connected. They probably would not even bother to sit there and fiddle with the lock with a screwdriver, true. But the issue is that people are buying these locks with the idea that they provide absolute security. If you are one of those, you might want to reevaluate and avoid leaving your laptops even with the locks on.
As for me, I really am too paranoid to leave a relatively costly machine alone in a public place – laptop lock or not. Do you use laptop cable locks? How confident are you in using them?