Picture of Protect your Mac from Thieves
In this Instructable, I'm going to show you how to protect your Macintosh computer from thieves. While these techniques aren't 100% effective, they'll improve your chances of getting your Mac back by an infinite factor... The reason I say this is that without any of these techniques, you have no chance of ever getting it back.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw an episode of Dateline NBC that covered iPod thefts and how they caught the thieves. It got me to wonder how I could protect my own iPod and computers. A little previous knowledge and Internet research reveled some great techniques. Unfortunately, nothing for the iPod except a way to register the serial number.

I'm sure there are similar techniques that can be used on Windows and Linux machines, but I don't own them. I welcome someone else to publish a similar Instructable for those machines.

I have no affiliations with any of the software mentioned herein, except that I'm a happy and paying customer.

Step 1: Lock It Down...

Picture of Lock It Down...
This is probably one of the simplest and most ignored techniques! Every Mac ever built included a special hole in the case exclusively for cabling the computer to your desk. The cables are readily available from many sources and simple to install. On many desktop Macs, there is an additional lockable latch to keep the side panel from being opened.

Use this feature if you don't go everywhere with your Mac. An intruder will likely give up quickly and take your TV instead.
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Sassah1222 years ago
How do you unlock it or bypass it? Some one PLEASE tell me. No I'm not a theif. Just wan't to learn about macs.
techboy4113 years ago
Tip: DISLABLE Autologin on your laptop
007dna5 years ago
 Or, for easier and cheaper, just use iAlertU. For free. (Macbooks only...)



LasVegas (author)  007dna5 years ago
 iAlertU is good. The $4.95 version is better and it's the only solution for iPods and iPhones, but UnderCover is better and more tightly hidden within the System of the computer. This makes it harder for a thief to detect its presence and remove it.
007dna LasVegas5 years ago
 Ah, but for those of us that do not spend money online, this is a good option.

I see your logic, though!   :)


I wish I knew about this BEFORE I got my MacBook stolen :(

 Yeah, my mac pro is worth 3K. We got it for free though with PS CS3 and Final Cut Pro 6.
elpec6 years ago
thanks for post, nonwise of this tool, ;) greetings
ReCreate6 years ago
In the past,caveman arguded over who's pet dinosoar ran faster Now,people argue which computer is better faster adn everything. Boy do thingschange,no? (Stupid spell checker,it doesent even work!)
fwjs28 ReCreate6 years ago
tehehe thats funny....

ps, if you use a decent browser (IE doesn't vut it) they usually have an option for spell check....)
ReCreate fwjs286 years ago
Oh no,i was using konqurer,google it,i had no option,firefox was unstable and would crash slax every 10 seconds,you gotta do,what you gotta do
fwjs28 ReCreate6 years ago
try opera for slax...i prefer it over the others....are you using 6.0.0 or 6.0.1?
ReCreate fwjs286 years ago
I was Using 6.09 Know Then i was using 6.10,Know i am using Ubuntu 8.10,the latest of its kind
And know i am back to slax 6.10,I ran DSL Linux On my laptop,I also tried Puppy Linux,but i got a kernel panic
gyromild8 years ago
simulating a hardware error by gradually dimming the screen until it's unreadable

Thats an interesting approach, I'm quite impress that someone actually thought of things to that extend.

Have 4 G5 at the office, we simply chained them to the desk, the problem is with the fancy Studio Displays, haven't found a practical way to secure them properly.

or even better,turn off the backlight
rockyt8 years ago
Mac? I say let them steal it. Thats just me tho.
PLEASE don't start the whole mac v windows v linux argument again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
why not
Its just really annoying becuase we have some serious Mac, Windows and mabe Linux enthuseiasts (sp?) on this site who are all into argueing. ;-)
oh and hey i haven hear from you in a lon go time (go jar jar blinks)
Yeah, I'm guilty of that, havn't been around much in the last 2 weeks (been busy with my new gizmondo ;-), you have to buy one its awesome). Well hows you these days.
great i got a guitar amp a few weeks ago (vox da5) and my dad and i just got back from the music store =-] and i might get a mexican strat for christmas
i got a strap that looks like a police tap and it say "hazzerdis materials"
Cool my strap says radioactive :-D
=-] i could of also got that one or a police one that said crime scene do not cross LOL
LasVegas (author)  Metal4God8 years ago
Would you guys please take this private conversation to PM?
you just got kicked out
Your right, that would be pointless! Just don't steal any Macs! - you'll never get rid them! last one I stole I couldn't give it away! ;-)
LasVegas (author)  Patrick Pending8 years ago
It's always fascinating to read comments from the uneducated on subjects that they have no clue about.
Yowl, that hurts. I was making a joke and I think that was pretty clear. Don't you have a sense of humour? That was a pretty nasty personal dig at me and on both counts was completely wrong. I'm not the sort to trade insults though, so go ahead and slap the other side if it makes you feel better :-( Cheers, Pat Pending
LasVegas (author)  Patrick Pending8 years ago
Whether you took it as a personal affront is up to you. It wasn't intended as such. I was speaking in general about all such comments. Three in this instructable, so far. It seems everytime I publish anything concerning Macintosh computers I get smart-aleck, anti-Mac comments that have absolutely nothing to do with reality. The reality for your previous post is that Macs tend to retain high resale values long after similar aged PCs are considered door-stops. I see similar comments when someone publishes about Linux. Windows postings are usually are accepted for what they are without such comments. I don't know why. I do sometimes post a Mac alternative when the Instructable is extremely Windows-centric on something that all computers are capable of. I didn't publish Windows or Linux alternatives here because, frankly, I don't know them. I stated this clearly within the Instructable and invited others to publish a like-instructable for Windows or Linux.
You attached your comment to my post ! it would be reasonable to think you meant me whatever your intention might have been.
Regardless of whether you grouped all three of us or singled me out for the abuse, It would still be personally insulting to call someone "uneducated" and say that they don't have a clue what they are talking about.
Personally, I spent six years in Further Education and have a degree in Electronic Engineering. I spent 12 years working in IT as an IS & IT Manager and have installed, maintained and repaired, PC's, Unix, and Mac's!. I currently run several flavours of Windows and Linux. I don't run Mac's( a decision based on experience of them rather than ignorance). It would appear that you are a little over sensitive and protective of your chosen platform and OS. In my opinion (based on a good education and several years working in the field) they all have their faults and shortcomings.

My attempt to inject a little humour has clearly failed in your case. It had nothing to do with reality as I have never stolen a Mac.
However, I do have experience of large scale theft of IT equipment. During the period of rocketing memory prices we were regularly broken into and lost countless PC's - never lost a single Mac even though they were the least well secured ;-)

Despite you being mean to me (and others) I'm going to "plus" you because you look sad in your picture and I think you need cheering up :-)

Hoping the sun shines on you,

Pat Pending
Oh my gosh why the long comment? Anyone that even dares to read this will lose will to live after the first 50 million words
Oh we do have a clue,big clue
By Chance is your real name Anthony?
LasVegas (author)  joejoerowley8 years ago
Hehe... Good guess. Did the snapshot of the Personal prefs pane help? :)
Just a little bit :)
i like all of them, although, because i've never used a mac unless OS 8 counts
If you don't like macs you should not read an instructable titled "Protect your Mac from Thieves". It is obviously for people that like and use Macs.
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