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Off to College-Need advice-security MBP


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BDunne

 
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My son is headed to college (freshman) and he recently purchased a Macbook Pro. Any advice relative to security - laptop lock, lojack for laptops?
What cable lock (key v. combo) works well with MBP?
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Sonicjet

 
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The Macbook Pro has a Kensington lock slot built right in, so any Kensington lock should do you just fine.
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Getting him to actually use it is another story.
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Keep all paperwork regarding the purchase of the MBP at your home. Should anything happen to it (theft, for instance), it is covered under your homeowner's policy as long as he is a college student. This actually applies to all of his electronics and possessions.

Advise him to back up all of his data and documents regularly.

And, never let anyone else use his equipment. People will beg and plead to borrow his machine, but no one will ever treat it with as much care as he does. They'll spill stuff on it, break it, and visit all sorts of rogue sites (read my lips: porn).

Trust me. I'm on my third college student now, and I've seen it all.

Edit: One last thing, and this isn't really security, but advice from my son who is entering his sophomore year in college: Do not under any circumstances attempt to download any pirated songs, movies or software, especially if you're connecting over the college network. College networks are heavily monitored. My son knows of at least two students in his dorm alone that received warrants for illegal downloads.

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As for security, there are also strong rumours that the up and coming iCloud service may include a Find my Mac service, much like the Find my Phone service.

Also a most basic form of security is to disallow automatic login. Always make sure the Mac needs a password to login or even both user name and password, and set the mac to require the password to get through the screensaver when idle

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Excellent advice, louishen. Should have included that. Passwords should also be placed on iPhones and iPod Touches, as well.

My son had his iPod Touch stolen this summer (out of a vehicle) and was kicking himself for not having a login password on it. He immediately placed a login password on his iPhone and on his MacBook.

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moff

 
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DON'T assume your home contents insurance will cover it. Your son should have his own contents insurance and I'd strongly recommend having a separate laptop policy covering theft, damage and loss.
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Don't leave it unattended - thefts at universities/colleges occur all the time. In fact, I'm sure someone at the school will probably inform of this (if not, tell him yourself). Notebooks get stolen quite often given that they are both expensive and easy to take since most students carry one with them. I've been at three different universities in three different cities and they each made sure to make this clear to us.

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I think I'd probably take the precaution of installing something like Hidden: Track and Recover Your Stolen Mac | Mac.AppStorm or similar software
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Oracle's Undercover is also a great program. Hidden, undetectable and cannot let another user wipe the drive. One time small fee but well worth it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louishen View Post
Also a most basic form of security is to disallow automatic login. Always make sure the Mac needs a password to login or even both user name and password, and set the mac to require the password to get through the screensaver when idle
I agree and was going to say something simliar. Another thing that might help is to have the son only allow his friends to use his Mac under a guest login and not his main admin account. This way they only have limited access and can't do a lot data damage. It's better not to have anyone borrow his Mac but I remember being a college student and when a pretty girl asks to use your computer it's hard to say no.
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As far as insurance: each individual homeowner should check with their individual agent or provider to determine if their college student is covered while living on or off campus. Most policies will cover this, but some will not.

You do, however, need to make sure that you have an adequate rider on your policy to cover all of your owned electronics. I'm not quite sure about the standard electronics coverage, but I've got a rider to cover all of my equipment (both on site and off site) and I've updated it frequently. The value of our cameras, televisions, computers, phones, and other electronics is ever-changing and needs to be modified. Gaming systems are part of this coverage. Seems that most college students are toting their systems (both old and new) with them, and current value vs. replacement value is a big difference. Believe it or not, the old N64's and GameCubes are hot items amongst the college crowd.

Better safe than sorry. Do your homework.

"The only thing that is constant is change." -- Heraclitus
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