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Using the Screen Lock

Leaving your desk without locking the screen can be a serious problem. An open computer is just a free ticket for anyone to gain access to the network using your identity.  They will be able to access everything on your computer and everything your account has access to on the network, whether it is your confidential information or someone else’s.  What is even worse is that no one will know this information has been seen or taken until the person that took the information uses it.

The screen lock feature can prevent unauthorized access to your computer. It hides everything on the screen with a logon prompt. The fastest way for Windows users to enable the screen lock is to hold down the Windows key and press the L key (Windows key + L key); this combination of keys will lock your screen so you can step away safely. Windows campus machines are set to require logon when waking up from a screen saver.

For Mac users the easiest way to invoke the screen lock is to use Exposé to turn on the screen saver and require a password when the computer wakes up. This feature will allow the user to turn the screen saver on by dragging the mouse into the desired corner of the screen. When the screen saver wakes, the user will be prompted to enter their password to unlock the screen saver. Mac campus machines are not initially set up to have this functionality. 

To set this feature up on a Windows computer or a Mac:

  1. Create a log on password for your account
  2. Setting your Mac Screen Saver to Require a Password
  3. Enable Exposé and the Screen Saver on a Mac

Now when you step away you can press the Windows key and L key to lock the screen on a Windows computer or drag the mouse into the corner that was set up to start the screen saver on a Mac computer.