How to Prevent Unauthorized Users From Accessing Your Computer if you Step Away From Your Desk

It takes only a few seconds to secure your computer and discourage malicious individuals. Lock down (or log out of) your computer every time you leave your desk.

To log back in, you’ll need to put in the username/password for your computer, which may be one you choose, or it may be your departmental login information. Be sure to shut down your computer completely when you leave for the day.

To Lock Down Your Computer

  • Mac
  • Windows 7
  • Windows XP

To Log out of a Mac

  • From the Apple pull-down menu, select “Log Out”
  • Mac shortcut: Shift-Command-Q

To Lock Down Windows 7

  1. Go to the Start menu
  2. Select the right pointing arrow from Shutdown category from the bottom right
  3. Select Lock

To Lock Down Windows XP

  1. Click Ctrl+Alt+Delete
  2. Select “Lock Workstation”
  3. This will bring up your login screen and lock your computer down.

Windows XP shortcut: Click the Windows key (the flying window key at the bottom of the key board) and the L key. This will bring up your login screen and lock your computer down.

How do I set a password-protected screen saver?
If you forget to log out of your computer when you walk away, for your protection, you should set up a screen-saver that will lock your computer after a pre-set amount of time and require a password to log back in.

To Set a Password-Protected Screen Saver

  • Windows 7
  • Windows XP
  • Macintosh OS 10.0 – 10.5
  • To Set a Password-Protected Screensaver for Windows 7
  • Right click on your desktop and select “Personalize” from the menu.
  • Then click the “Screen Saver” link from the Personize window.
  • Under the Screen Saver section, check the box for “On resume, display logon screen.”

To Set a Password-Protected Screensaver for XP
Right click on your desktop. A drop down menu box will appear. Select “Properties.” See Insert Fig. 1

Insert Figure 1

The display properties for the desktop will appear. Click on the “Screen Saver” tab.

See Fig. 2

Insert Figure 2

  • Click the arrow on the drop down list for “Screen Saver.” Select the screen saver you would like.
  • Click the up/down arrows on the “Wait” box to set the time lapse before your screen saver starts. Five minutes is a good choice.
  • Check the box in front of “On resume, password protect.” If you have Windows 2000, it may just say “Password Protect.”
  • Click “OK” or “Apply” and close out of the Display Properties Box.
  • To login when your screen saver is running, you can: move your mouse; hit the enter key; or click Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Any of these will bring up your login screen. Type in your Novell or Windows password, click “OK” or hit the enter key and you will be logged in to your computer.
    Alternative Method: You can also reach the “Display Properties” box by:

Clicking “Start” in the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop screen and click on “Control Panel.” See Fig. 3

insert Figure 3

A window will appear that will have many icons or a list of items. Click on the “Display” icon or the “Display” in the list. See Fig. 4.

Insert Figure 4

To Set a Password-Protected Screen Saver for Mac OS 10.0 – 10.5

  1. Open “System Preferences”
  2. Click on the “Security” icon
  3. Check the “Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver” field.
  4. Return to the “System Preferences” and choose the “Desktop and Screen Saver” icon
  5. Select the “Screen Saver” tab
  6. Set the amount of time you want to pass before the screen saver starts (5 minutes is a good limit)
  7. When the screen saver activates after the required time period has lapsed and/or you want to unlock your computer move the mouse, click on a key to logon to your computer.