One way to prevent unauthorized access to your computer when you’re not around is to get into the habit of logging out each time you step away from your keyboard.  An even quicker method is to simply lock your profile each time you leave.  Of course these procedures all assume you have a password set to access your account!

The methods to lock your profile vary depending on which version of the operating system you are using.

Windows – To lock your profile in Windows use the keyboard shortcut combination of pressing the “Windows key + L” at the same time.

Mac OSX – To lock your profile on a Mac try the shortcut combination of pressing the “Shift + Option + Eject key” at the same time.

While we are on the topic of locking your computer, make sure your profile is set to lock automatically after a set time of inactivity.  Further instructions below…

Windows 7

  1. Right-click on your desktop.
  2. click Personalize.
  3. At the bottom of the pop up window click Screen Saver.
  4. In the Wait box, set the amount of time your computer can be inactive before the screen saver turns on. The shorter amount of time the more secure your setup will be.
  5. Check the option to On resume, display logon screen.
  6. Click OK.

Windows XP

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click on the Screen Saver tab.
  4. Make sure you have a screen saver or “blank” selected.  Having “None” selected won’t let you lock your computer.
  5. In the Wait box, set the amount of time your computer can be inactive before the screen saver turns on. As before the shorter amount of time the more secure your setup will be.
  6. Check the option to On resume, display logon screen.
  7. Click OK.

Mac OS X

  1. Click the Apple menu.
  2. Click System Preferences.
  3. Click Security.
  4. Check the box Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver.
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