Would it be safe to hide cash in my computer?
February 29, 2008 6:22 PM   Subscribe

Would it be safe to hide cash in my computer?

Say I'm not worried about someone stealing my computer. I have a desktop with a decent amount of space inside. Would it be safe to hide cash inside? Is there a risk of it catching on fire or getting sucked into the fan or anything else I should know about?
posted by bindasj to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
If you put it in a envelope at the bottom, not touching any components, it should be pretty safe.
posted by demiurge at 6:24 PM on February 29, 2008

Of course, if it's an Alienware with a bunch of neon lights and stuff, somebody might steal the computer.
posted by box at 6:29 PM on February 29, 2008

Personally, I'd go a little bit further, and do something like this - rather than building a computer into the old UPS, just run a pass-through electrical, and hide the money in there. I'd guess that it's much less likely to get stolen than a computer.

Umm, but yeah. Should be safe.
posted by god hates math at 6:34 PM on February 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

My suggestion: put it where your disk drive / cd drive bay. Just tape it on, and it should be safe.
posted by carpyful at 6:43 PM on February 29, 2008

Best answer: I wouldn't just because it's an electrical device and they are prone to fire. It's like asking for it. As soon as you put the money there it will blow up, that's just the nature of computers, if it can happen, no matter how small the chance, it happens.

I read somewhere a good place to hide money/jewels is inside stuffed toys. Get a bunch of them from garage sales, put them in a old box marked "sisters old toys - 1985" with some smelly moth balls - it would take a determined thief to rip open cute stuffed animals from your baby sister stinking of moth balls. Of course as this idea gets out it is less effective.
posted by stbalbach at 6:52 PM on February 29, 2008

disclaimer: I do not hide valuables in my house, I use a bank safe deposit box :)
posted by stbalbach at 6:54 PM on February 29, 2008

I think I'd tape it under the desk that the computer sits on before I'd put it in my computer.

Computers, even a crappy desktop, are target's for theft. When we got broken into they stole the earthquake kit and old tapes, let alone the good stuff.

I'd be worried about the cash moving around inside and blocking an air vent or somehow getting hot enough to catch on fire.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 6:58 PM on February 29, 2008

Best answer: I've actually stored cash in a computer before. I don't remember the reason why I did it, originally, but I ended up completely forgetting about it for nearly 2 years. Imagine my surprise -- and delight! -- to open up my desktop tower for some maintenance, only to find a wad of cash.

In that time it never caught fire, got ripped, blocked an air vent, or caused any other manner of mischief. I had left the bills laying, loose, on top of one of my CD-ROM drives in the upper-front part of the machine, for what it's worth.

... not that I necessarily endorse this as a money storage method. The only interest I earned was some loose change that somehow found its way into the machine.
posted by barnacles at 7:04 PM on February 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had a friend in high school who hid pot in his computer and besides making the room smell terrible when the PC was on there were no ill effects. Unless your computer is really ugly and really heavy I wouldn't consider it a very safe place to hide money, though.
posted by richrad at 7:10 PM on February 29, 2008

Conversation With a Burglar and More Conversation With a Burglar might provide some insight on whether it's "safe" in the sense that it won't be found, although it sounds like you're more concerned about physical safety.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 8:14 PM on February 29, 2008 [4 favorites]

Best answer: It can block and air vent or a dollar could get loose and jam a fan. So if youre hiding 200 dollars in an 800 dollar desktop, well, its not worth it.

Perhaps in an envelope taped to the bottom, but frankly if you are asking this question you really dont know enough about DIY computer crap to really pull this off without exposing yourself to some risk.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:31 PM on February 29, 2008

You could always put it in the fridge.

Really, I'd use a book safe before I'd use a computer. They're just too tempting for the average junkie. To you, it's nearly priceless (especially if it holds all your digital photos for which you have no backup); to them it's $20 to get high. They'll never even find the cash -- the guy who buys it from the fence they sell it to will.
posted by dhartung at 11:44 PM on February 29, 2008

Best answer: As long as you aren't laying it in the air flow to a heat sink it should be fine. Computers routinely have paper labels stuck to the cases, an envelope containing a stack of bills laying on the bottom of the machine (as long as it isn't blocking a fan/vent) should be fine. Well except for the dust bunnies.
posted by Mitheral at 4:07 AM on March 1, 2008

Since computers are typically replaced every few years, I'm guessing the next thing we'll hear of this is a news story titled "Man finds envelope full of cash in computer purchased at Goodwill."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:40 AM on March 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

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