#202 Lock Your Computer When Not In Use

October 24, 2013

In support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, this tip will focus on physical security of desktops and laptops.  Physical security of a computer is an often overlooked component of computer security.  Whether you are walking away from your office computer or your laptop in a public place, you should always lock your computer and require a password to access it.


To lock a windows PC:

  • Press Windows Key + L

For other useful Windows Key shortcuts, please see this Microsoft Support Article and select “Windows Logo Key Keyboard Shortcuts”.


To lock a Mac, first you must adjust this preference:

    1. Open System Preferences
    2. Click “Security & Privacy”
    3. Click the lock in the bottom left and enter the administrator password to make changes
    4. Make sure the box for “Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins” is checked. Note: You can select the amount of time before requiring a password, but “immediately” is recommended if leaving your computer quickly.

Now you can lock your mac by clicking on your user name in the top right corner of the menu bar and selecting “Login Window”.  If you do not see your user name in the top right corner, you need to enable fast user switching in System Preferences.

For more information on securing your Mac, please see this Apple Support Article.

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