MacBook Pro security lock

I ended up getting a 2017 MBP 13" with TouchBar for my son for university. With the £350 discount it was only £50 more than the non-TouchBar model which is also a 2017 model so it seemed like the obvious choice. It’s a VERY nice bit of kit and he’s over the moon with it. I’m everso slightly jealous if I’m honest.

What we didn’t realise was that the new slimline MBPs don’t have a slot for a Kensington lock, which is not the most brilliant of ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions for products that would accomplish the same job? His dorm room at university has a security hoop bolted to the floor, we just need something to connect the two together.

I confess: I never used one of those locks. The Toshiba I started university with had one but then I updated to a MacBook Air which didn’t. HIs experience may vary but I found locking the door to my room, and making sure not to leave my laptop unattended did the trick for me. Looking back even if I could have used a lock I probably wouldn’t have just due to the inconvience factor.

There are some which were made for the Airs which clamp to the screen somehow, but I’d be concerned with them damaging the device. It would be good to know if there are other solutions out there though!

Back in the day when I worked at a copy shop, we used something similar to this (below) to secure our gear. The downside to it is permanently glueing a locking bolt to your shiny new laptop.

Ruban Security Hardware Cable Lock Kit - Universal Compatibility…

Much to my wife’s annoyance, I controversially, don’t believe in locks. Maybe I have seen one to many deacon talks, but all locks can eventually be opened. The tubular Kensington locks can be opened with a bit of cardboard!

When I used to work at IBM this missing security slot was a real issue and at least out here, no one seemed to know how best to deal with it, we were required by global policy to have them locked to the desks at all time. A few people went to the effort of getting docks and adapters which they could use. I personally did not bother and it was fine, the notable thing is, that a few months later they decided to renovate the building and moved everyone’s desks, over a weekend when no one was able to open the locks, rather then use bolt cutters they simply removed the bolted loop, which is generally quite easy and in some cases toolless.

Theft of electronic devices by people who know what they are doing is at an all time low, hot electronics have a terrible resale value and are easily remotely destroyed.

The person you have to worry about is the non-professional, an opportunist, and they are best stopped by a locked room.

This sort of problem is kinda what insurance is for, most insurance should only require that the room door is locked.

Lastly a locking cable is kinda a pain in the arse, a laptop for uni is meant to be thrown in a bag, taken to class, the library, the cafe, wherever! Depending on the person how long until locking it back to the desk in the room becomes too much of a pain, because ether they are in the room with it, or it’s in a backpack waiting to go to class.

I had the same concern when I bought my MacBook last year. I was used to locking it down when I was away from it briefly, like in my local coffee shop or when I left it in my office. I figured it would be enough friction to slow down the opportunist while I was away from my table. I worried about this a bit when I got the new one.

However, the new MB is so much lighter and wakes up so quickly, that when I get up I close it, stick it in my bag, and take it with me. So making sure your son has an easy to carry bag for the machine is a good idea.

When I worked as a resident director in a university dorm, students had the option of renting a safe that would be bolted to the bottom of their wardrobes. Something like that might be a solution if keeping the computer safe in the room is an issue. Probably a lot more secure than the loop in the floor too.

Versus a professional theif that’s kind of the point. Things like safes are explicitly rated in terms of time: how long would it take a professional with the proper tools to break in. Then you design the rest of the security system to make sure a thief won’t get that much time.

Most of these locks will stop an honest thief or it will delay a real thief for just a little bit.

I did have my eye on this one:

It looks like it’s just a case that goes on the bottom of your MBP and it has a place to stick a Kensington lock.

In the end, my MBP is light enough and I just stick it in my messenger bag if I have to leave the table for a bit.

Thanks for the replies. I did have a look at the MacLocks website but couldn’t see how it would attach to the MBP. Given that they state no case modification is required I would suggest glue but unless you’re going to use something like Araldite to stick it on I don’t think it will take too much effort to remove it.

As you say, it’s light enough and wakes up fast enough to close it and chuck it in a rucksack when you need to move about.

His dorm room is pretty secure. In order to get to it, you need to use an electronic key to get into the lift/elevator, again to get onto the floor and again for the room - obviously only his fob will open his door. I don’t think he has too much to worry about.

I really miss the Kensington lock attachment. Sure, any lock can be opened, but I always had one of those locks with me. I used it:

  • when studying/researching at the university’s library I didn’t need to take the laptop with me on bathroom breaks. Now I would need to carry my laptop to the toilet.
  • at conferences to freely talk with other people or get a coffee without constantly having to look at my laptop or clinching it under my arm
  • also, when setting up my laptop for longer presentations (incl. breaks)
    Sure, a motivated thief with the right tools could break the lock. But 99% of thefts are just because the laptop was unattended and available. Several times a week, laptops were stolen at university because “just went for a book/coffee machine/toilet, was away 1min”. And those are prevented with the Kensington lock. I really want that feature back!

That seems somewhat reminiscent of this Noblelocks lock I have used on my MacBook Air for a number of years.

This installed by unscrewing the screws on the bottom back of the case and then screwing the Noblelocks blade which goes across the bottom back. The baseplate is small enough that I don’t notice it is on the bottom. Unfortunately, Nobelocks doesn’t have a version that fits the current generation MacBook Pros. Hopefully they have one for the next MacBook or MacBook Pro when I get around to updating.