We all want to trust the people around us, but the sad fact is that an alarming number of computer intrusions happen because people leave their computers unlocked.
If you leave your computer unattended, it doesn’t take a hacker to break in to cause serious damage – someone just needs a couple of minutes access to your computer while you’re on the phone, getting coffee, or using the restroom. In that time, they can find personal information and pictures, access your browser and any sites you’re logged into, send email from your account or worse – install spyware or malware. Even if there’s no malicious intent, co-workers or family members may decide to prank you by changing your password, accessing inappropriate Web sites, or other equally irritating things.
So whenever you leave your computer unattended, even for a short time, lock it. That way, only someone with your password can access it.
However, logging off and logging back on again every time can be a real pain. So here’s a quick way to lock your computer instantly with just a single key press or mouse gesture. Get into the habit of doing this whenever you walk away.
On a PC:
Press the Windows key and ‘L” and your computer will immediately lock.
On a Mac:
Set up a hotspot in one corner of the screen that enables the screen saver. Go to System Preferences and then Desktop and Screen Saver and click Hot Corners. Then just move the mouse to that corner and the computer will lock right away.
You wouldn’t go out and leave your home or car unlocked. You probably have a password on your smartphone. (And if not, you should!) So don’t leave your computer unlocked.