Q: My younger sister recently purchased an iPad, after saving up her own money. This week, she started college and has moved into the dorms. Being a paranoid older sister I am worried about it being stolen! Do you know of any way to "lock up" an iPad? Something that's more convenient than a huge locked cabinet... something quick and easy to use so it will actually get locked up!
A: For a simple storage and safety solution we have a few suggestions as well as some tips. One of the security products we have recently been using is the Go Safe Portable Anti-Theft Bag which at a mere $49.99 (available next month) is a great option for inexpensive security. The bag is large enough to fit an iPad or laptop and it is very easy to use. The chain mail like exterior prevents the material from being easily cut and lends the bag a sort of medieval bent.
The combination lock and cable double as a handle which means this can actually be used as a purse. However since the cable is not impossible to cut through, we would advise that she lock this around a secure pole and keep stowed out of sight when leaving it in her dorm.
Option 2 would be the Defender Anti-theft Metal Locking Drawer which has convenient cord access to allow her iPad to charge while it is locked up (which provides incentive to store the iPad there). At $59.99 it is also inexpensive and is much dorm appropriate option than a standard safe. The drawer has a provided tether cable that she would use to keep the drawer from "walking." We would advise that she choose a place in her dorm for the drawer that is also out of sight, a locked drawer out in the open can be seen as an ad saying, "Hey rob me, the valuables are all in here!"
We would highly recommend that any security option that she chooses remain out of site in her dorm. Thankfully because it is an iPad it will most likely be with her and will not be left unattended all that often in her room.
Other practical security measures for the iPad itself would be setting a lock code and as long as she is not the forgetful type, turning on Erase Data in the iPad passcode settings that will wipe the iPad after 10 incorrect passcode attempts.
We'd also advise enabling Find My iPad which uses your Apple ID to register if you do not have a MobileMe account. We have used the Find My iPad feature to track down errant iPads and it has proved very useful, especially when the person who took it admitted to feeling compelled to return it thanks to the message we sent to the iPad politely asking for its return.
Have any other security products and tips for this reader? Let us know in the comments!