Why do we lock our computers when we walk away? Because not locking them gives an unauthorized user physical access to computers and that user /attacker doesn't need any advanced technical know-how to steal sensitive information. A momentary lapse in vigilance at work can result in a data breach of epic proportions.
Let's say you're working at your desk and you get up to get something off the printer or to help someone at the front desk. During that brief moment, a low-key cyber villain could easily use a USB drive on your computer to copy sensitive files about you or your organization and get away undetected.
Furthermore, if you were logged in to Gmail, your medical records or your bank account, that cyber villain could wreak havoc on your personal and professional life in a matter of minutes.
Tips for Protecting You Computer and Yourself
The good news is that warding off attacks is really easy. Protecting yourself is simply a matter of using your operating system's screen locking function to lock your computer. You don’t have to logout just lock the screen by doing one of the following.
For each of the following options, be sure you are aware of the password connected to your user login before locking yourself out.
Screen Locking in Microsoft Windows
- Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Lock this computer
- Press Windows+L
Either option will lock your computer and require a password to unlock the screen.
Screen Locking in macOS
- On an external keyboard or older laptops, press Ctrl+Shift+Eject
- On a MacBook Air or Pro Retina, press Ctrl+Shift+Power
- If you are on version 10.13 press Ctrl+Command+Q
If this does not work contact your tech for help setting this up.
So keep your data safe in one easy step: lock your computer whenever you're not in front of it.