Keeping Your Gear Safe & Sound

Rule 1 – Use Common Sense!

Looking after your kit is paramount to your LAN experience – although thefts at LAN parties are not as common as some other festival type events, it has happened and the key thing to be aware of is that while event provided security will try and look out for and prevent suspicious activity, they can’t be everywhere all the time and ultimately it is your own responsibility to ensure your kit stays where you left it!

First up, a few common sense rules that are worth being reminded of :

One: Don’t leave obvious valuables like phones, cameras or wallets on your desk. Ideally keep those on your person at all times.

Two: Keep cars locked at all times – even when unloading or packing up at the start or end of an event. Don’t leave your vehicle open and unattended!

Three: Get to know your row – recognise the people sitting around you, and if you see anyone else acting suspiciously then alert a nearby staff member or call the number on the back of your pass.

Securing Your Gear

Now we’re going to look in detail about securing your PC and peripherals. For a desktop PC system, I’d recommend the Kensington K64615EU Desk Cable & Peripheral Security Kit. Besides a snappy name that rolls off the tongue, this includes everything you should need to keep your PC and it’s peripherals safe!

How to secure your gear

Shown above – security cable, lock with two keys, cleaning wipe, two security slot locks, one adhesive security clamp, one peripheral cable clamp.

So, you have arrived at LAN safe & sound, with your PC and peripherals (and hopefully power cables, there’s always someone who forgets!). Get unpacked and leave yourself some free desk space.

How to secure your gear

Next up, loop the security cable around the inner frame of the table – don’t tie it round the base of the leg, as then the table could easily just be lifted up. If you use a part of the frame with closed ends then the cable cannot be removed (the folding tables typically used at events are ideal for this).

How to secure your gear

For devices with security slots (most TFT monitors and laptops have this, with a few tower cases offering the slot as well. It can also be found on some external hard disks) – insert the latch with the two portions separated, then rotate 90 degrees, and slide the two portions together.

You’ll note that in this form, the latch cannot be removed without rotating it, and it can’t be rotated with the two sections pushed together. So when the security cable is put through, the latch cannot be removed from the screen.

How to secure your gear

For cases that have a security slot, repeat the process above, but for the majority you’ll need to attach the adhesive clamp. Locate a flat area on a fixed part of the case (in other words, not on a removable part like a side panel) – usually that means somewhere on the rear or top of the case, and consider the direction of the security cable to make sure that it’s not going to get in the way of peripheral connection.

Clean the area with the included wipe, peel off the adhesive backing and attach the clamp with a firm push. This part takes a few hours to fully set so ideally wait before putting the cable through this part right away to avoid pulling it back off the case.

How to secure your gear

Now you can use the peripheral clamp to secure three USB cables – typically keyboard, mouse and headphones – so that they are tied into the chain as well. Make sure if you’re using headphones with a detachable cable section that the part of the cable joined to the headphones is in the clamp, and not the removable extension.

Slide the cables into the clamp – when the security cable is fed through this it will prevent the peripherals from being removed.

How to secure your gear

Feed the security cable through all the peripheral clamps and latches. Attach the lock to the end of the security cable, turn the key and remove. Keep the keys with you at all times.

How to secure your gear

Another useful addition to secure PC internals are these Security Screws – these are secured internally and have a smooth edge so can’t be removed by fingers or regular tools.

They’re an ideal way to secure graphics cards, hard disks or even on the whole side panel. They’re 6/32 threads – so will work on most cases except for Lian Li which uniquely use M3 threads for the expansion and side panel screws.

How to secure your gear

For laptop systems, the Belkin F8E550ea Notebook Security Lock can be fitted to the security slot using the same techniques shown for the monitor above.

See you there!