Affinity Consulting Blog

Our laptop computers are our lifelines to our law practices. We use them to stay in touch with the office, communicate with clients and colleagues, and get our work done. We may have the best anti-malware software, but are we doing enough to protect our laptops from physical rather than virtual theft?

As scary as virtual security threats may be, for solo and small firm lawyers, physical theft or loss may be a more serious problem. This could be as simple as a USB flash drive falling out of a pocket or purse at the gas station or as complicated as running into a tag team of laptop thieves at the airport - one distracts you with a question while the other snatches your computer and disappears into the crowd.

Fortunately, every modern laptop has a built-in security device called a Kensington Security Slot. Unfortunately, almost no one uses it.

Per Wikipedia, a Kensington Security Slot is "a small, metal-reinforced hole found commonly on small or portable computers and electronics equipment such as laptops, computer monitors, desktop computers, gaming consoles, and video projectors. It is used for attaching a lock-and-cable apparatus ...." You can buy a Kensington (or other brand) keyed or combination lock and cable set for less than $10 up to $50 depending on quality and features. You will find them on Amazon or at any Office Supply Superstore or Big Box retailer.

Using a Kensington Lock is simple, but it is also an added step you will find inconvenient. The small amount of added incovenience may be worth the added security. Given enough time, any competent thief can break a Kensington Lock. Your goal is to deter would-be thieves long enough that they move on to the next potential victim who is less well protected.

Is your new $1,000 plus laptop, not to mention all of the confidential data it contains, worth a $25 lock and cable set and a few extra seconds of inconvenience?

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