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    OCTOBER 27, 2005
 
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Bits&PCs

Security tip: Don’t forget to lock your computer

An unattended, running PC is an invitation to violations of your privacy and leaves your system open to compromise. It may not always be convenient or practical to shut down your computer if you only plan to be gone for a short time. Generally, there are two convenient ways to secure your computer while you are temporarily away: using a password-protected screen saver with a timed display, or manually locking your computer’s operating system.

A simple screen saver may be used to hide the screen display from prying eyes and also to lock the computer while you are away. The screen saver feature can sense that you may be away from your PC by automatically starting up after a predetermined period of inactivity.

Configuring Microsoft Windows to implement a password-protected screen saver is simple. Be sure that you know your Windows password before setting up the screen saver because you will need to enter it when you return to use your PC. Here are the steps to create a screen saver that will automatically lock your PC after 10 minutes of inactivity:

1. Click on Start > Settings > Control Panel.
2. From the Control Panel, choose Display.
3. From the Display window, click on the Screen Saver tab.
4. From the screen saver drop down menu, choose one of the screen savers.
5. In the Wait window, choose 10 minutes.
6. Check the “On resume, password protect” box.
7. Click OK to save the new configuration.

You can also lock your workstation manually before leaving your desk by using the CTRL+ALT+DEL keyboard sequence. Carefully read and follow these easy steps:

1. Simultaneously press and hold down the CTRL and ALT keys.
2. Continue to hold down both the CTRL and ALT keys, and then press the DEL key.
3. The Windows Security window will open. Click on the Lock Computer button.

Newer versions of Windows provide a shortcut to the above CTRL+ALT+DEL keyboard sequence, allowing you to lock your workstation by simply pressing the “L” key while holding down the “Windows logo” key. Once again, be sure that you know your Windows password before you lock your PC because you will need to enter it to regain control.

Locking your PC when unattended is an excellent way to help keep your private information private. If your PC is not already protected with a password, or if you need assistance with locking your PC, the Computer Services Help Desk (215-204-8000) is ready to assist you.

 

 


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