I recently had to deal with the disappearance of several keyboards and mice from computers that are set up in a semi-public hotelling area. I received a support request from someone that noticed that some of the computers were missing either a keyboard, a mouse, or both. We had no reason to believe they were stolen and were most likely taken by a well-meaning employee assisting a co-worker or fixing their own issue. We keep a stockpile of extra keyboards and mice; so, replacing the missing keyboards and mice was trivial. However, we still have to account for the inventory and really need people to contact us when their equipment breaks.
The solution? A cable lock and a washer that cost less than $0.25.
The cable for the mouse or keyboard is looped through the washer.
If you find a washer with a large enough hole, you can loop both the keyboard and mouse through. If the hole isn’t large enough, you may need to increase your budge by ~$0.25 for each PC. 🙂
As you can see in this up close shot, the end of the USB cables can’t be pulled through the washer.
Many of our computers are already attached to desks as a theft deterrent using a cable lock. All we had to do was disconnect the lock from the back of the computer and pull it through the loop created on the cables.
Obviously this isn’t completely foolproof, but should be enough of a deterrent to keep the casual keyboard/mouse thief from walking away with your equipment.