Kensington Security Slot

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Not to be confused with Kingston Technology.
A security cable attached to a Kensington Security Slot on the side of a PowerBook G4 laptop computer

A Kensington Security Slot (also called a K-Slot or Kensington lock) is part of an anti-theft system designed by Kensington Computer Products Group. It is a small, metal-reinforced hole found commonly on small or portable computers and electronics equipment such as laptops, computer monitors, desktop computers, gaming consoles, and video projectors. It is used for attaching a lock-and-cable apparatus, in particular those from Kensington.

Locks are generally secured in place with a key or combination lock attached to a rubberized metal cable. The end of the cable has a small loop that allows the cable to be looped around a permanent object, such as a heavy table or other similar equipment, thus securing it in place.[citation needed]


Kensington locks can be used in a variety of settings, generally as a deterrent to prevent opportunist theft. Individuals might use them in public places such as busy offices, coffee shops, hotel meeting rooms, libraries, restrooms, tea houses, cafes, airports, bus stations, train stations, post offices, malls, dressing rooms and auto dealers. They are especially prevalent in college life, most notably in dormitory housing. Companies may use them to secure expensive equipment that must be left in public places, such as computer displays in a retail store, or video projectors used in a hotel conference room.


Kensington locks are not designed to be an impervious protection measure.[1] Because most computer equipment cases are generally made of plastic or thin metal, the lock can be torn out, though not without doing significant visible damage to the case. The cable itself can be cut if an individual has a wire cutter or bolt cutter sufficiently strong to cut through the cable material, which will vary between different brands of cable.

There are versions of the lock that use a numeric combination (like a padlock) instead of a key. There are other versions that use a traditional flat key.[1]


Several manufacturers offer similar locking mechanisms that do not require a special lock hole.[2] They attach to a popular port, such as the VGA or printer port and have special screws to secure locks in place. Others are completely electronic, and emit an alarm if they are removed from the slot.[citation needed]


Kensington Computer Products Group
Genre Computer accessories
Founded 1981
Headquarters Redwood Shores, California, United States
Parent ACCO Brands Corporation

Kensington Computer Products Group, a division brand of ACCO Brands, Inc. (located in Redwood Shores, California), was founded in 1981 with the invention of the System Saver, a combined cooling fan and surge protector designed for use with the Apple II home computer. They are most notable for the Kensington Lock.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kensington SAFE Security Ratings". Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  2. ^ "PA496U: Targus DEFCON® VPKL - Video Port Key Lock". Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 

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