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Physical security - laptops or desktops

We have a little bit of extra money floating around. Not a lot, mind you, but enough that we can snag a few computers for departments who have generally been last on the list for hardware.
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We have a little bit of extra money floating around. Not a lot, mind you, but enough that we can snag a few computers for departments who have generally been last on the list for hardware. Special Education, in particular, could really use some new computers for their study skills room.

Because space is limited there, I proposed laptops that could be moved around between students, taken to the library to testing rooms, etc. However, the department head was concerned, understandably, about theft. Of course, I've had countless mice, wireless adapters, and even keyboards walk away this year from desktops and thin clients.

So what's the solution? Laptops can be locked and generally don't have any separate components that can be stolen. Of course, they can also be dropped, slipped into backpacks, etc. In addition to actual laptop locks, they can be physically locked up at night in closets, carts, offices, or wherever you can stash something like a laptop.

So what have you found? Is laptop theft a serious problem or is the problem of theft mitigated by the added utility of portable computers?

[poll id=64]

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