The one security step you can’t afford to skip on your Windows or Mac
Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to get your money and information, and your phone has a vulnerability you probably never thought about. Stop making this simple and dangerous mistake.
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Walking away from your computer creates an opportunity for hackers, crooks, or just fake people who have nothing better to do than snoop. Here’s how to prevent them from taking a look at what you’re doing.
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Protect your Windows PC
You probably lock your phone when you put it in your pocket without even thinking about it, but what about your computer? The same principle applies — always lock your device.
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Even if you trust the people around you, it doesn’t take more than a passing glance to cause someone serious harm. This is especially true if you work from home and have sensitive business information on your computer.
Here are some ways to lock your Windows PC:
- hit Windows + L To lock your computer in just one step.
- Pres Ctrl + Alt + DelThen select the lock Options
- Click on get started button, then select and press your user icon the lock.
Tech Hack: Sending and receiving texts on your computer is a total time saver. Here’s how to set it up.
Make it easy on yourself and set your computer to automatically lock after a certain amount of inactivity. On a Windows machine:
- open up Settings and go PersonalizationThen select off screen.
- click Screen saver settings And select any option (Except no one) from the Screen Saver dropdown menu.
- Set the time for Windows to wait before locking. A few minutes should be fine.
- Check the box for On resume, display the logon screen then hit ok.
You can also set your PC to lock automatically when you’re away from it. Windows uses devices paired with your PC via Bluetooth to help detect when you’re away. Quite neat.
First, you need to pair your device. Your phone is a good choice because you’ll likely be carrying it when you pick it up. Find instructions for pairing with any device Windows 10 here And Windows 11 here.
With your phone paired to your computer, here’s how to set your computer to lock when it senses your phone is gone:
- choose Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
- choose Dynamic lockThen select Let Windows automatically lock your device when you’re away check box
- Take your phone with you when you walk away from your PC, and it’ll automatically lock a minute or so after you’re out of Bluetooth range. Note that Bluetooth range may vary. Do a test run to determine the distance at which your computer locks up.
There’s a lot involved in your computer’s settings to keep you safe — if you know where to look. Here are some essentials for Windows PC and Mac.
Shut down your Mac
Should I use a Mac? Here are a few different ways to lock your screen.
- choose Apple Menu > Lock Screen.
- Pres Touch ID If it’s available on your Mac or Magic Keyboard.
- press off screen button if it’s available on your Magic Keyboard.
- use hot cornerWhich lets you take action when you move your mouse pointer to the corner of the screen: Select Apple menu > System SettingsThen click Desktop and Dock. click hot corner And click on the pop-up menu for any corner and select off screen. Click on When you move your pointer over that corner, your screen will lock.
- choose Apple menu > System SettingsThen click Desktop and Dock.
- click hot corner And click on the pop-up menu for any corner and select off screen.
- Click on When you move your pointer over that corner, your screen will lock.
Apple Smart: Use this advanced search trick to find anything on your Mac.
To set your computer to automatically lock after a specified amount of inactivity:
- choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
- click Desktop and Screen Saver > Screen Saver.
- Use the slider to select the time.
- click show all To return to the main System Preferences the window
- click safetyThen click Password is required to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver.
- turn off System Preferences the window
Here’s how to set your Mac to log out when not in use:
- choose Apple menu > System Settings.
- click Privacy and Security > Advanced.
- turn on Automatically log out after inactivity.
- Click on Log out, log out After the pop-up menu, then select the time before automatically logging out.
What about laptops?
Your laptop may lock automatically when you close the lid, but you should get used to locking it first. You can’t push the lid all the way down, and it’s good practice to lock your computer every time you walk away, so make it a habit.
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You don’t leave your phone unattended, right? Anyone can carry it in their pocket. I know it’s obvious, but a locked phone is still a liability for your privacy and security.
Go for it laptop and tablets. If you’re at a coffee shop, it’s not the same as at work. Don’t leave them unattended! Packing up your computer to go to the bathroom can be annoying, but it’s worth it.
The same applies to flash drives. You can encrypt them, but the temptation to have a crook take yours or you lose it is too great.
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