How do you protect your Mac laptop from theft?

So both my sister and are getting new Macs. She’s headed to college (freshmen at Miami Ohio) and I’m moving into my first apartment. My dorm in college had a honor system of sorts (Catholic dorm) so theft was never an issue. I did though buy a lock for it. What are the options for myself and my sister?

I would recommend a laptop lock, find my Mac, FileVault for encryption, and good security habits.

I use a hot corner to turn on the password protected screensaver and turn that on anytime I leave my laptop. Never leave your laptop unattended. College students are notorious for leaving their stuff unattended and it takes one unscrupulous character to steal


Completely agree. What about keeping stuff safe in my apartment? Put it in a locked drawer or something when out without my computer?

1 Like

I’d think locking the apartment would be sufficient.

1 Like

Are laptop locks still a thing? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Kensington slot.

1 Like

What’s what I’d think too. My folks are convinced I’ll get robbed.

1 Like

Maybe just toss it in a drawer, then, so it’s not immediately visible.

1 Like

This is available if you subscribe to SetApp. Can also get it directly. I don’t know how good it works. —

Apple stopped including the laptop lock slot quite a while ago. The last MacBook Pro to have one was the 2012 model with the built-in ODD. None of the current models offer this feature. Just checked my 15" 2012 Retina and no slot there either.

My suggestion is making sure your parents have a rider on their HomeOwners insurance covering loss/theft or damage if you are in a dorm room. If you are living in an apartment, then you need Renters insurance. My daughter spent less than $100US per year for coverage.

Best advice is to NEVER leave your computer alone in a public space. Lock up your living space if no one else is there. In the time it takes to visit someone down the hallway, that is more than enough time for someone to step into your room and grab your computer, iPhone or iPad.

I just keep it out of sight when leaving it in a locked room or house.
When out and about, I always slip it in my backpack and take it with me everywhere ( including going to the restroom in Starbucks)

1 Like

Honestly Jonathan, keep it in your possession at all times or in a locked room and/or drawer. I lived in London for years and that was more or less de rigeur there. Even then you had to be careful with people distracting you. I don’t know how serious computer theft is these days, I have lost touch a bit. It went through phases depending on how much ‘resale’ value they had for junkies mostly where I lived; that was the bottom line: they would haunt ‘college’ spaces too for various reasons.

Making them harder or even putting barriers to reuse and re-register makes a huge dent in their attractiveness, I think for that reason alone it is useful to use those features; you might not save your own machine but the general risks get much lower. Items that at one time you had to keep in safes one can now leave in your yard pretty much. For many thieves they really need the resale within hours and operate on that basis. It is tragic really.

What GraemS said. This is a major reason I only work for a limited amount of time at coffee shops. :slight_smile:

Great advice I got from tech journalist Mike Elgan, who travels the world in AirBnBs and such, and works full time when he does, often in coffee shops and the like Do not sit at a table close to the door in a coffee shop. An agile 12-year-old can bolt in, steal your laptop and be halfway down the street while your hands are still poised above the (no longer present) keys.

Slightly off-topic: My work has me staying in a lot of hotel rooms. Probably 30 nights a year. I never lock up my laptop or iPad, always leave them in plain sight on the desk and table and have never, ever had a problem. Been doing that for, oh, 30 years now.

1 Like

Perhaps one of these Pelican cases. Use a good lock and chain it to something immobile (not trough the handle please…)

I’ve used a Noble Lock on my 11 inch MacBook Air for several years. Noble used to sell locks which screwed on to the bottom of my MacBook Air and added at the back corner a little slot almost like a Kensington slot (except it is proprietary). Unfortunately, with new Macs they have switched to an adhesive solution (I think changes in how Apple assembles the laptops means the screw in solution doesn’t work anymore).

You could also check out Maclocks, which has a slightly wider selection of locks then Noble.